DAMASCUS, (SANA) – During a session on Monday chaired by Prime Minister Adel Safar, the Cabinet discussed the state of the petroleum sector and the difficulties facing it and means to overcome them.
Petroleum Minister Sufian Allaw reviewed the state of operations, production and export in the petroleum sector in light of the sanctions imposed on it, detailing his ministry's efforts in the fields of prospecting and production, underlining the damage caused by the vandalism of terrorist groups to oil and gas facilities and pipelines.
The Cabinet approved a bill on establishing a central office for purchases and contracting to organize government purchases, in addition to a draft decree exempting drama production companies from taxes, fees and customs.
In a statement to the press, Information Minister Adnan Mahmoud said that the draft decree for supporting drama production exempts imported equipment for TV, cinema and radio production of 50% of taxes, fees and customs, including the income tax, in addition to exempting them from fees of filming in public establishments and areas.
He said that this decree is part of the government's strategy to develop Syrian drama, which is an important national industry.
For his part, Petroleum Minister Allaw said that his ministry is working hard to overcome difficulties facing the petroleum sector and provide citizens' needs, particularly after the unjust prohibition on importing and transporting Syrian oil and money transfers which was imposed by the US and the EU.
He said that Syria used to export 150,000 barrels of oil per day out of its daily production of 380,000 barrels, noting that the EU decision to suspend the investment of European companies in Syria caused several oil companies to suspend their operations in Syria and withdraw their expertise and funding, but local expertise took over and are working competently.
Allaw underlined the vicious vandalism carried out by terrorist groups, which led to the martyring of 25 workers in the oil sector and the theft or damaging of more than 100 vehicles, in addition to around 40 bombings and sabotage of pipelines and attacks on facilities and workers.
He said that the recent shortage of cooking gas was due to the difficulties caused by the EU sanctions, and that gas shipments will reach Syria within two days, adding that there are sufficient supplies of diesel fuel and that a shipment of 30,000 tons is due to arrive from Venezuela within two weeks, affirming that the government doesn't intend to raise diesel prices at this point.