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Premier: A sum of 175 Million Syrian Pounds for Boosting Citizens Service Centers




DAMASCUS, (ST)_ "The biggest challenge for the establishment and operation of citizens service  centers is to develop  clear and unified standards, so as  to be able to perform government services in addition to expanding  activities of these centers  and rehabilitate, train and motivate its employees", said  the prime minister Dr. Wael al-Halqi on Monday during a workshop, organized by the Ministry of local Administration  on following up activities pertinent to citizens service centers  in the country 's governorates.

 The Prime Minister stressed the importance of assessing the performance of these centers and the need to add more services, in coordination with ministries and sides concerned, with the aim to simplify procedures and alleviate burdens shouldered by citizens.

 " A sum of 175 million  Syrian pounds was allotted to inaugurate and develop several citizens service  centers one-stop procedure in several cities and to benefit by  this experience in more than 30 Administrative units, to be  determined  annually, depending  on the preparedness  and human resources  in the main cities," the Prime Minister said.


T. Fateh




Syria needs SP 2000bln for reconstruction, says Finance Minister


DAMASCUS, (S.T) _The total amount estimated so far for reconstruction in Syria reached up to SP 2000 bln, Finance Minister said on Thursday.

Speaking before the People's Assembly, Mohammad Jleilati cited that the amount SP 30 billion included in the 2013 budget under the reconstruction term will only cover the cost of primary rehabilitation works.

After dwelling upon the bill on the 2013 state budget, the PA referred it to the budget committee to be scrutinized.

According to the minister, the bill was drawn up according to real data bases taking into consideration the crisis Syria is going through.

"A levy imposed by the government in Syria is very low in comparison with other countries," said the minister, noting that some people evade payment of taxes and asks for exempting them from fines under the pretext of supporting production and industry.

He also pointed out a number of wrong decisions negatively affected on national economy and local industry. 

The minister added that the rehabilitation of infrastructure in Syria requires an investment budget whose appropriations will be secured through foreign loans.

The MPs asserted that the exceptional circumstances in Syria impose exceptional economic, financial and social policies to face the crisis and to enhance the national steadfastness.

They focused on the necessity of distributing subsides to those in need under the current situation in the country caused by the unjust sanctions which negatively affect the citizens' living conditions.

The meeting included several important proposals by the MPs. One of them is increasing the appropriations allocated for the stricken areas and restoring services to them as soon as possible.

Basma Qaddour


Syrian government strongly supports electricity sector, says Electricity Minister

DAMASCUS, (S.T)_ Electricity system in Syria is still one of the best in the region despite the armed terrorists' sabotage acts targeting it, Electricity Minister said in an interview with the Syrian TV on Monday. 

"Had it not been at that level, it wouldn't have withstood all these difficult circumstances and the economic sanctions imposed by the countries involved in the crisis in Syria," said Imad Khamis.

He noted that the ministry has adopted intensive measures to rehabilitate the infrastructure damaged by the armed terrorist groups, asserting that the electric power projects are running well and will be completed on time.

"The terrorist groups' attacks on tankers carrying fuel to the electricity generating plants and on the railways and oil and gas transfer pipelines have imposed a huge further financial burden on the state estimated at SP 800 mln," asserted the minister.

"Electricity is heavily subsidized by the Syrian government to do its utmost to meet the citizens' needs", Khamis said, pointing out that the ministry has taken extraordinary steps to secure electric power around the clock during winter.


CBS: the value of deposits estimated at SYP 310bln




DAMASCUS, (S.T)_ The movement of deposit and withdrawal in the Commercial Bank of Syria (CBS) has been stable since September, the Bank's Head said on Monday.

In a defiant rebuttal to claims the country weak financially, Ahmad Diab described the cash flow in the bankas good.

Speaking to SANA, Diab said that the value of the deposits which are registered so far reached up to SYP 310bln, noting that the CBS branches are working in two shifts.

Moreover, the Bank's Head stressed that about half of the ATMs are working normally in all governorates including Aleppo, Idleb, and Homs.

He warned the bank's clients of fraud attempts made through attaching wireless readers to the ATM to copy the information from ATM cards.

Basma Qaddour




Syria-DPRK Relations Bolstered




PYONGYANG, (ST)_  Syria and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea signed a number of memoranda of understanding, agreements and executive programs in the field of environmental protection, free zones, agricultural scientific research, tourism, information and communication services and software.

 The signed agreements included, at the conclusion of the second session of Joint Economic Commission for Syrian Korean cooperation, an agreement and exchange of experience in the field of Agricultural Research, especially in the field of production of grain crops, cotton, wheat, barley, maize and fruit trees, medicinal and aromatic plants.

 They also included a memorandum of understanding for joint co-operation between the Syrian free zones and special Korean economic zones for co-operation in the field of environmental protection, co-operation in the eco-tourism protection sector, the management of nature reserves, the rational use of water and natural materials in general and solid waste management and sewage treatment technologies.

 The two sides also signed a protocol of the second session of the Joint Economic Committee meetings and the first executive program for tourism cooperation agreement which was signed between the two countries in 2009, and the executive program in the field of information and communication services and the development of exchanges in the field of open source software in the field of information security.

 After the signing, minister of Culture, Dr. loubana Mshawah underscored the necessity to continue these efforts to monitor the implementation of agreements by the two sides, especially in the field of industry, agriculture, culture, environment, tourism, telecommunications and media, deepening bilateral relations in the common interest of the two friendly countries.

 For his part, the DPRK Minister of Foreign Trade, Ri Ryong Nam, pointed out  to the positive results of Joint Commission and its important  role  in deepening and strengthening co-operation between the two friendly countries.


Hanan Shamout