Economy Minister: The State Bears 80 Percent of Citizens’ living

TARTOUS, (ST)- The Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Dr. Mohammad Zafer Mahbaq, underlined that the government follows a monetary policy based on the accounts and balances of the national reserves which helped to "maintain the rate of the Syrian pound in an acceptable way during the last two years."

 During a meeting with economic activities in Tartous, the minister pointed that the war on Syria aimed at undermining our brave army, destroy our national economy by manipulating the prices of the exchange of Syrian Pound, smuggling billions of Syrian pounds out of Syria and then buying dollars without concern for the loss or profit.

The minister pointed out to the importance of economic decisions issued by the ministry on proposals of businessmen through dialogues which are made through press or directly in order to serve citizens, noting to "the existence of government decisions to finance imports of basic commodities only because it is illogical financing of luxury goods in this stage."

The economy minister said that the complaints received by the Governor of the Central Bank of Syria indicate that the burdens and financing of food commodities that conducted by dollar are sold the lowest price to the consumer where the seller prices according to the black market and " the bank incurs this loss without the benefit of the consumer what requires traders to bear burdens and stay away from obsession to profit."

The Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade pointed out that the government provides many facilities for contractors, particularly the exemption from fines in addition to compensation for price differences, stressing to study the request of any contractor to take advantage of these facilities.

The minister clarified that half of the state budget is dedicated to supporting food stuff, fuel oil and education, and this means that "the State bears 80 percent of living of citizens."

Dr. Mahbaq called everyone to stop the speculation to store and monopoly materials and work to spread awareness in this field among all segments of society, pointing out that the national economy has exposed to a lot of vandalism at the hands of terrorist groups, however, " the national economy is still intact and able to meet the basic needs of citizens ".

“The aim of the meeting with the economic activities in Tartous is to see the economic realities of the governorate and assess the impacts of decisions issued by the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade, and the possibility of overcoming the obstacles,” the minister commented.

For his part, Governor of Tartous, Nizar Mousa, underlined the importance of the meeting between the Minister of Economy with the businessmen and members of the Chambers of Industry and Commerce in Tartous to upgrade the economic reality in the governorate, which is getting ready to receive all industrialists from other governorates who their facilities were damaged by armed terrorist groups.

 The participants showed the need to finance imports of commodities, pointing out that the potential of investment in Tartous is weak and needs to be activated through facilitating the granting of licenses, increase support for exports of olive oil and citrus, overcome the routine procedures for both economic and supplying sides to ease the growing burdens on citizens.

Sh. Kh.                

Labour Minister: Supporting, Developing SMEs Important

Damascus, (ST) - Minister of Labour, Dr. Hassan Hijazi, underlined the importance of supporting and developing the small and medium enterprises by all concerned ministries and authorities, pointing out that the Ministry of Labour attaches importance to the issue of training entrepreneurs and the need for access to funding that is supposed to fit the needs of those who have the ability to set up these projects.

During a meeting included the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Dr. Mohammed Zafer Mahbaq, and General Director of the Public Authority for Operation, Mujahid Abdullah, Dr. Hijazi underlined necessity of activating the bodies concerned with training, technical and vocational education, developing programs aimed at youth employment and turning it to a tangible evidence to take advantage of all available energies.

For his part, Minister of Economy pointed out that the separation of the Ministry of Social Affairs from Labor Ministry allowed to the new ministry to do more actively and provide service to the labor market, stressing that it is necessary to develop the body dealing with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

He also called to find a compromising formula between the Ministries of Economy and  Labour and the General Authority for Operation to unify visions to take advantage of all experiences of our existing expertise which is considered a national treasure.

For his part, Director General of the General Authority for Operation stressed the need to complete the tools of the body’s work by linking the mechanisms of granting licensing, guarantee of loans and financing of non-financial services provided by the current Authority.

Sh. Kh.

SFAC: Reducing Impact of the Crisis on Future of Livestock

DAMASCUS, (ST) - Technical Advisor of the Syrian Federation of Agriculture Chambers (SFAC), eng.  Abdul Rahman Qrunfleh, called for intensify efforts to reduce the effects of the crisis, that Syria has experienced, on the future of livestock development and deterioration of productivity that threatens the future of producing herds and future generations.

In a statement to reporters, eng. Qurunfleh, underlined the importance of the contribution of  fodders’ suppliers in private sector and the General Foundation for Fodders to ensure fodders from cheap sources for the herds of livestock in addition to offering loans from the Agricultural Cooperative Bank (ACB) and helping  suppliers of fodders in public and private sectors to provide the necessary funding to secure Syria’s need of fodders and taking the necessary measures to reduce the impact of the restrictions imposed by the regulations, which restrict the work of the bank.

He noted that the crisis in Syria has been a reason to deprive sheep and goats from visiting pastoral areas and take advantage of the free natural vegetation and impeding the movement of sheep and not moving the products of breeders of dairy and wool to markets in addition to the reduction of implementing the plans, programs and projects of the Ministry of Agriculture aimed at developing livestock in general and the development of the productivity of natural pastures and sheep in particular.

He explained that the cows were affected sharply due to the ceasing of factories of fodders and factories producing cake cotton and peel cotton in Aleppo as well as the exposure of some warehouses in more than one governorate to looting, theft and vandalism.

He clarified to the decline in the implementation of preventive immunizations rates for livestock as a result of the inability of veterinary technicians to get the vaccine and not being able to reach the areas of livestock in other cases. This fact led a large number of sheep breeders to sell half of their herds to spend on feeding the other half.

Sh. Kh.

Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market Next Week- Mayaleh

DAMASCUS,(ST)_The  Governor of the Central Bank of Syria Dr. Adib Mayaleh  announced that the bank has drafted  package of  decisions on  the  mechanism  of the exchange rate of the Syrian pound SP .

In a statement on Wednesday , Mayaleh said  that the central bank will remain the key player in the foreign exchange market and will intervene positively  to correct any deviations in the SP exchange rate as hard currencies  will be sold  to banks and exchange institutions  at prices that  ensure SP stability at acceptable levels.

"The central bank 's first  intervention in the foreign exchange market will begin early next week." Mayaleh said.

He stressed that the  new mechanism ensures reduction irregular market activity , stressing that the reserves of the Central Bank foreign exchange are strong and ensure continued intervention in the foreign exchange market to maintain SP exchange rate stability and not to be  manipulated.

"The government is taking supportive package of measures that will preserve the SP  purchasing power and maintain citizen 's living standard." He concluded.


T. Fateh

Government endorses zero customs duty on imported Iranian fuel

DAMASCUS,(ST)_The cabinet convened on Tuesday and tackled economic, services and political situation in the country.

Prime Minister, Dr. Wael al-Halqi, urged ministers to closely observe works in all state establishments and to ensure citizens' basic requirements across Syria, highly appreciating the Syrian Arab Army's efforts to hunt down terrorists everyplace in order to re-transport basic needs to all provinces.

He also underscored need for combating corruption in public sector through reactivating the role of ministerial committees.

The ministers reviewed difficulties that face services and economic sectors as a result of armed terrorist groups' acts, noting what has been achieved so far to deal with this matter.  

On the other hand, the cabinet endorsed a bill for exempting fuel, gas and gasoline imported from Iran from all customs duties until June, 30th, 2013.

As for political situation, the PM briefed ministers on results of talks held with different political and social parties to launch comprehensive national dialogue, citing President Bashar al-Assad's directives in this regard.  

Basma Qaddour