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Finance Minister: Government’s Contribution to Social Support up to (SYP) 512 bln in 2013 State Budget




DAMASCUS, (ST) - The international sanctions imposed on Syria from the very beginning of the crisis have aimed at disrupting the total balance of the Syrian economy, including that of the general budget, payments, exchange rate, foreign currency reserve, general debt, inflation, unemployment and money supply, said Finance Minister Mohammad al-Jleilati during a People’s Assembly (PA) meeting on Sunday. The meeting was dedicated to discuss the government’s financial statement on the bill of the (SYP) 1383 bln state budget for 2013 fiscal year.

“The sanctions have overshadowed the state budget leading to an increase in its deficit.  The negative impacts were embodied in low general revenues of the state and lower investment revenues caused by the sanctions imposed on the oil sector.” Jleilati said.

He added “production has also stopped in many public and private economic institutions and companies causing an increase in the current expenditure which is earmarked to providing subsidies to companies and institutions, social subsidies to citizens, job opportunities and requirements of education and health care development.”

The minister pointed out that the current circumstances have required a decrease in investment expenditure with priority given to projects under implementation, referring to a package of financial reforms like rationalizing general spending in coordination with government ministries, commissions and administrations.

In the government’s financial statement, Jleilati said that the funds, allocated to ministries and affiliated bodies from the current expenditure of the general budget, have amount to (SYP) 317,896mln, referring to the increase of the government’s contribution to social subsides from (SYP) 386bln in 2012 to (SYP) 512bln in 1213.

He added that an amount of (SYP) 17914mln was earmarked to subsidies provided to economic, service and transport institutions and companies, and another amount of (SYP) 6127mln was earmarked to providing job opportunities.

“The funding allocated for investment reached (SYP) 275bln in the 2013 budget with focus is to be put on top priority projects under implementation,” Jleilati said, pointing out that an amount of (SYP) 86bln was earmarked as reserve funds to investment projects.

Concluding his statement, Jleilati underlined the necessity of stepping up efforts to combat tax evasion and solve accumulated financial problems to ensure necessary funds, stressing also the importance of developing financial and tax related legislations in order to achieve justice.

H. Moustafa




Implementing Housing Program a must, asserts cabinet

 Damascus, (S.T) _ The cabinet has convened a special meeting to discuss the government housing program  that stipulate for building 50.000 housing units in the Syrian governorates.

Prime Minister, Dr. Wael al-Halqi, stressed the importance of overcoming all obstacles that hinder the construction process as regards  providing  houses to low-income citizens.

"A credible timetable to implement the program is a must", the premier said, noting that the next step would include an announcement of new housing projects to push economic process forwards and to ensure job opportunities to limit unemployment rate.  .

The subscription for the units was started on February, 15, 2012 and ended on May 17. These units are scheduled to be provided to citizens in 2017.

The General Housing Establishment has to monthly submit a program including the steps of implementation and spends to be evaluated by the cabinet to ease the process of construction.

Moreover, the establishment as to carry out each three months an executive program including geographical areas in governorates and steps of construction process.

The Premier underlined the government's interest in the housing sector with all its components to provide suitable houses to all citizens.



A Fund for Supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises




DAMASCUS, (ST)_ The representatives of the Ministries of the Economy and foreign Trade, Industry, Agriculture, Tourism, "al-joda" group for studies as well as other representatives of the private and public sectors have recently discussed a draft decree on establishing a fund for supporting the small and medium-sized enterprises.

For his part, Dr. Rashad al-Isseh, the deputy of the Economy and Foreign Trade Minister said as concerns the Syrian economic system, it has multiple resources and depends on economic pluralism, since there are a public sector in Syria which supervises key strategic sectors , as well as the private and joint sectors which participate in most economic fields.

"However, currently there is an inclination towards reactivating the activities of the small and medium- sized enterprises with the purpose of supporting Syria's economy in facing global conspiracy and encountering all forms of unjust siege and sanctions, which target Syria's economic and trade stability." al- Isseh added.

He clarified the draft decree is of great importance in bolstering the small and medium-sized enterprises' pioneering role  in developing  the economic sector, reducing unemployment, creating  job  opportunities and improving the living standards.

Al- Isseh presented the Ministry's vision relating to the fund's process and the mechanism of cooperation and coordination among bodies concerned, stressing the Ministry's readiness to tackle obstacles that may face the fund's activity.

He made clear that the small and medium- sized enterprises are less affected by any crisis that may face any economy, so they are able to cope with any circumstances.

For their part, the representatives of the private and public sectors highly appreciated the step of establishing the fund to pave the way for them to implement more production projects in all domains

They clarified  that the success of any kind of projects depends mainly on the availablity of raw materials, and Syria is very rich in this regard; so Syria was and is still able in withstanding any measures that aim at collapsing Syria economically.

Supporting the small and medium sized enterprises by the fund will take part in attaining self-sufficiency and supplying the state treasury as well as the Gross state product (GSP).

They pointed out that the Syrian economy depends basically on the sectors of industry and agriculture which form the main basis of the economic progress, stressing the necessity of exerting utmost efforts to make Syria's economy more prosperous.

The representatives stressed the need for making use of the available national expertise and potentials .

Rawaa Ghanam





Solutions to Support Small and Medium Enterprises

 DAMASCUS, (ST)- Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Mohamad Zafer Mahbaq met in Damascus a delegation representing the administration of the Syrian Business Centre (SBC). The two sides discussed the possible practical and scientific solutions to support small and medium enterprises to enhance the economic development in Syria.

     They also debated means of benefiting expertise of the SBC to support those enterprises through improving their efficiency, competitive potentials, developing local consultations, ensuring the long- and medium term finance and encouraging exports.

Mahbak called for investing all expertise and available local capabilities in Syria in a perfect way, particularly as for the enterprises which contribute to reducing the rate of unemployment, assuring the need to promote the work of the economic establishments.

Chairwoman of the Executive Bureau of the SBC, Nuha Shaq, and her Deputy Chairman George Qattini presented a comprehensive review concerning the projects being carried out by the SBC and the services offered to the business sector in Syria.

The services offered by the SBC include the technical aid to enhance and promote the Syrian product inside the country and abroad, administrative training, business consultations, building capabilities and forming the economic, industrial and commercial policies.

The SBC adopts creative ways and techniques of offering services according to the needs to achieve its goal represented in increasing the competitive capability of the SBC, helping the business establishments to enter the international markets and supporting the business sector through increasing the number of new establishments.      



Increased by 4%, Syria 's Budget for 2013 is 1383 Billion SY Pounds




DAMASCUS,(ST)_ " The state budget for the fiscal year 2013 totaled 1383 billion  Syrian Pounds, representing an increase of 4 percent over the  budget of  2012," according to a Cabinet meeting held yesterday , chaired by prime minister Wael al-Halqi.

 The Cabinet also approved the government's statement on the draft general budget for the fiscal year 2013.

The Government financial statement focused at the negative effects caused by the economic sanctions imposed on Syria, aiming at the destruction of the Syrian economy.

 "The current expenditure in the State 's general  budget for 2013  is estimated  at  1108 billion Syrian Pounds, representing an increase of  16 percent compared to  the figures of 2012, " said Finance Minister, Dr.  Muhammad Al-jleilati in a statement to reporters, following the meeting.

 "The most important reasons for the increase of  current expenditure are due to increase  of salaries and wages from 209 billion pounds in the  last budget to 236 billion pounds,  as a result of creating  some  36 thousand jobs,  and  food subsidies provided to Syrian citizens, which was increased from 386 billion pounds to 512 billion Syrian pounds for 2013", the minister said.

T. Fateh