Damascus, SANA – People’s Assembly listened on Tuesday to the government’s financial statement on the state’s general budget bill for the fiscal year 2015, set at SYP 1,554 billion, marking a SYP 164 billion increase over the 2014 budget.
As mush as SYP 1,144 billion will be allocated for current approbations, with an increase of SYP 134 billion, while SYP 410 billion for investment approbations, with a SYP 30 billion increase.
Allocations for social subsidies have also been increased by SYP 368,5 billion, with the total amount estimated at SYP 983,5 billion.
Those will be distributed as the following: around SYP 338 billion to subsidize oil derivatives, SYP 413 billion for electric power and SYP 195 billion for basic food materials including flour, sugar and rice, in addition to other allocations.
The budget bill also provides for allocating SYP 50 billion for the construction and rehabilitation of public facilities and compensation for damages and losses caused to private facilities due to the current events taking place in the country.
Finance Minister Ismael Ismael said the bill has taken into consideration the necessary requirements of public institutions to ensure active performance under the current difficult circumstances and their negative repercussions on national economy, with stress laid on monitoring public expenditure, providing new job opportunities, subsidizing basic materials in order to reduce the impact of the crisis on citizens.
The minister noted that priority has been given to providing requirements to help fight terrorism, ensuring the availability of aid materials to meet humanitarian needs, improving the living conditions and boosting national production.
Ismael said the crisis in the country has contributed to increasing budget deficit as the government has had to increase the volume of public expenditure in order to consolidate the requirements of steadfastness and stability, support national economy, compensate the reduction in internal and external funding resources due to the decrease in taxes and decline in treasury revenues, particularly oil and tourism revenues.
The minister struck a confident note when he said that there have been recently indications on gradual recovery of the national economy due to several economic sectors getting back into production, noting that the improvement of the security situation has positively influenced the markets, in addition to the growing shipping movement at ports.
Afterwards in the course of the session, the Assembly referred a bill on regulating the work of sworn interpreters to the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee for study.
Another bill on exempting taxpayers from fees and fines for overdue net profit income taxes from 2012 and before was referred to the Financial Laws Committee for study.
Rasha Raslan/Haif Said