Computer’s up to grab!
21 October, 2010
Computer’s up to grab!

To make PC technologies available to entire country, Georgian government initiated a ‘Computer to Everyone’ program in cooperation with Intel Corporation. The governmental initiative is to make personal computers and laptops affordable for GEL 30-90 per month via installment payment. Skeptics think the initiative is a populist step as far as almost half of Georgian population that is on the list of past-due-loans is not supposed to enjoy the initiative.
Computer-to-all pilot program started on September 11, 2010 and is supposed

to enter into force officially on October 22, 2010 when Intel signs a deal on provision the project with its product actually.  Ministry of Education and Sciences of Georgia is implementing the program in partnership with the Intel Corporation. Computers will be sold via network of Alta and Algorithm IT shops. The program enables all social groups to acquire a PC or a lap-top for special price via 2-year payment in installment. The average monthly payment accounts for GEL 30-90.

The governmental understanding is that computers must be available to youth and teachers alike in the age of high technologies. And enhancement of the number of PC users will raise the education level and promote Georgia’s economic development. Similar project has been implemented in many countries worldwide and is supposed to be successful in Georgia as well.

The pilot project launched in Tbilisi is supposed to move to Kutaisi and Batumi gradually and then be deployed throughout all Georgian regions.
Commercial banks supposed to support the Project via preferential credits eluded the project initially. Only TaoPrivate Bank, the Ukrainian-based Private Bank affiliation in Georgia, joined the project at the outset [on October 11, 2010]. Later on October 18, 2010 TBC Bank, one of the leading Georgian banks, joined the project.
“We planned to join the project but detained announcing it as we wanted to work out our crediting proposal as much as possible so as to provide consumers with the best credit-terms,” Natia Gotsadze, PR Manger of the TBC Bank told Georgian Journal.
Bank of Georgia (BOG), one of the leading Georgian banks, claims it has always been disbursing similar credits at Alta and Algorithm shops before this governmental initiative and will continue this practice in its own way.

Both TaoPrivate Bank and TBC Bank  promise their credit officers will provide clients by due credits at Alta and Algorithm  shops in 10 minutes after and only ID must be submitted. TaoPrivate Bank   pledges any income source may serve as a credit guarantee. Installment payment can be available even without advance payment. If a client would like to pay money in advance its amount is tailored to personal purchase power individually but the benchmark advance sum should equal to  20% of the total price generally and the smaller the income of the client   the bigger is the advance sum going to 40% of the total payment. But if a client covers the entire sum prior the installment-payment deadline it faces no sanctions.
TBC Bank promises to make credits available to people with stable job and self-employees alike. However it caps the maximum amount of the payment in installment sum by GEL 3 thousand, the co-financing is not required, and the installment payment period varies from 3 months to 2 years. 
Those who are put on the list of Credit Info [the official credit history agency of Georgia created by banks and keeping information on loans] are supposed to be cut-off the credits. And as far as more than 2 million people [out of about 3.5 million Georgians actually] are put on the credit info-s list by October 1st, 2010, skeptics say the governmental initiative [aimed to make computers available to entire Georgian population] is a mug’s game. According to Christian Democrats affiliated organization of young people, those put on the Credit Info list cannot get credits at least for 5 years and the governmental initiative looks as nonsense in this circumstance.  
However, banks swear the Credit Info data is not decisive actually. The TBC Bank and BOG assured Georgian Journal that Credit Info data is just one of the components taken into account during disbursing credit usually and never acts as the key factor.  TaoPrivate Bank claims they will withdraw credits only to those who have past-due-loans.

“We refuse only the people who have past-due-loans actually. The Credit Info data are valid for 7 years and are we supposed to withdraw credits to all people who are put on its list for 7 years?” Tamuna Abutidze, PR of TaoPrivate Bank, asked Georgian Journal. “We will disburse credits to all who have cleared debts. Moreover, to those who have open credits at the moment but their clearance timetables are not violated, no matter whether or not they are our clients or clients of any other bank.”

According to Credit Info, the share of paid-off loans in the total share of positive and negative loans accounts 58.51% and 43.28% respectively.

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