The Georgian government has lifted price controls on bread as of June 15, describing the measure as a painful but overdue step toward market reforms. The price liberalization coincides with the virtual cessation of Western humanitarian deliveries of grain and flour, which covered Georgia’s bread deficit over the last few years. Constrained by the need to reduce the budget deficit, the government has instituted some compensation payments to low-income groups and created a two-month state grain reserve for possible discount sale in order to cushion the immediate shock of the price increase. (Interfax, June 15)
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