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Cabinet approves proposal to form Syrian E-Payment Co.

DAMASCUS,(ST)-The cabinet approved Telecommunication Ministry's proposal to form the General Syrian E-Payment Company Commission.

According to SANA, the Wednesday's cabinet meeting focused on the current situation of power and national reconciliation.

It also discussed a bill for establishing the General National Archive Commission and asked Ministries of Culture, Telecommunication, and Justice to reformulate it to be reviewed in the next meeting.  

Another topic related to state workers was also reviewed.

In the meeting, Prime Minister, Dr.Wael a-Halqi, said citizens' suffering to ensure basic needs is to be gradually dispelled despite current circumstances.

He talked about efforts being exerted by the government to meet citizens' needs across Syria regarding bread, oil derivatives and power. 

Dr. al-Halqi also spoke of outcomes of the governmental delegation's visit to Aleppo and aid and funds offered during the visits to alleviate citizens' suffering in different sectors.


PA endorses 2013 state budget with SP1383 bln

DAMASCUS,(ST)_The People's Assembly has endorsed the 2013 state budget with a total of SP1383billion, recording an increase of 4% over the last year.

The endorsement comes aftercompleting discussion of the Budget and Accounts Committee's report on the bill of the state budget for the 2013 fiscal year.

During today's session, the MPs appealed for meeting citizens' basic needs, backing public sector, reconsidering financial system, and combatting corruption.

They underscored the necessity of the 2013 budget's contribution in improving GNP (Gross National Product) and income to notch up social welfare, according to SANA.

The MPs asserted that the budget's articles have to be able to limit unemployment, increase state workers' salary, improve education and health systems, and increase approbations of power and sewage sectors as well as municipalities.

Public sector helps enhance national economy to realize an independent national decision.

The budget has been approved in an exceptional circumstances and this requires cooperation between government and the PA to ensure citizens' basic requirements.

The MPs suggested forming a high-level strategic planning body in economic and financial fields to overcome obstacles that face means of ensuring citizens' basic needs. 


Government closely watches events in Aleppo, says PM

ALEPPO,(ST)_Prime Minister Dr.Wael al-Halqi, said the Syrian government is closely watching the events taking place in Aleppo province and obstacles that face its people as a result of the armed terrorist groups' acts.

The Premier, who visited on Monday Aleppo heading a ministerial delegation, told the economic, social, religious, and popular activists that the government is exerting every possible effort to ensure basic needs in the province as soon as possible.

He said the terrorist groups are targeting economic and development components across Syria, citizens' living conditions, and roads leading to Aleppo.

"Immediately after treating the problem of transport, fuel will be available in the province," said Dr. al-Halqi, noting that the amount, SP300 mln, has been allocated to buy aid, basic items and services' requirements.

SANA quoted the premier as saying: "In addition to the SP300mln, the government has allocated SP 140 mln to be added to the independent budget of Aleppo province plus SP400 mln to buy aid in the first half of 2013 ."

Further amount of the value SP6bln has been allocated by the government to get aid and food supplies (canned foods) available in Industry Ministry's stores.

"One aid cargo is scheduled to reach Aleppo via airplanes each week," said the PM, asserting that Syria has a surplus food supplies and incessantly imports its requirements as regards rice and wheat.

He clarified that the main problem in Aleppo is grinding wheat as this matter is complicated and requires ensuring oil derivatives through railways to feed power plants.

"Deliberately, the terrorist groups destroyed a number of grinders in Aleppo countryside causing shortage in flour," said Dr. al-Halqi, citing efforts being exerted to obviate the shortage through loading bread by airplanes to Aleppo.

He reassured Aleppo citizens that power outage problems will be solved with 24 hours, noting that power plantsare under repair.

As for exchange rate, the PM said: "Despite circumstances in the country, the exchange rate is stable due to good reserve of foreign currency."

On the other hand, SANA reported that the ministerial delegation briefed the activists on the actual situation in all sectors.    

It quoted Local Administration Minister, Omar Ghalawingi, as saying that restoring security and stability to all provinces in Syria and reconstructing infrastructure in affected areas as well as offering humanitarian aid to affected people are the ministry' priorities.

"The government has allocated SP30 bln in the 2013 budget to compensate affected citizens for damaged real estates," said Ghalawingi.

For his part, Electricity Minister, Imad Khamis, noted exceptional measures being adopter to re-operate  3 grids to feed Aleppo network to be in service within 24 hours.

"The ministry is cooperating with local community and civil society to re-run thermal plant to ensure electricity in Aleppo," said Khamis.

As for education, the ministers concerned asserted that the government has offered facilities to students at all stages to continue their study.

Regarding economic issues, Dr. Mohammad Zafer Mhabak, the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, said: "Aleppo businessmen could get import certificate from other provinces, and we are going to increase the quantity of main imported items, especially rice, sugar and flour."

Concerning Industry, Adnan al-Sakhni, Industrial Minister, told the activists that the ministry has formed a committee to study needs to industrial cities to approve appropriate measures.

Moreover, Oil Minister stressed that oil derivatives are available to be sent to Aleppo, calling upon local community to cooperate with the ministry to guarantee the arrival of gas from gas station to thermal plant.

Labour and Social Affairs Minister noted the ministry's cooperation with the Higher Relief Committee and Aleppo governorate to ensure citizens' basic needs, adding that up SP250mln has been offered to 40 Charity Associations; 9 of them are in Aleppo.

State Minister for Red Crescent Affairs spoke about  efforts being exerted to offer humanitarian aid to affected people, while Health Minister asserted that good quantity of qualitative medicine was conveyed to Aleppo.

According to SANA, the activists called for backing Aleppo citizens' steadfastness in confronting the terrorist groups' savage aggression, eliminating the terrorists, and ensuring basic needs.

Basma Qaddour

New economic procedures adopted

DAMASCUS,(ST)_Prime Minister, Dr.Wael al-Halqi, chaired on Sunday the meeting of the committee recently formed to follow up the current economic situation caused by the western embargo and aggression that targets the Syrian people.

Dr. AdebMayaleh, Governor of the Central Bank of Syria (CBS) briefed the committee on the monetary and banking situation besides procedures taken by the CBS to preserve foreign currency and stability of exchange rate in the market.

SANA reported that the participants adopted several new economic and financial procedures to help enhance national economy and ensure local market's requirements as regards all products.

The premier expressed satisfaction over the new adopted measures, asserting the Syrian economy's capability to confront all challenges that are facing it.

Basma Qaddour

Liquidity of hard currency is more than excellent, says CBS Director


Director of the Commercial Bank of Syria Ahmad Dyab has assured that the bank liquidity of hard currency is more than excellent and within acceptable limits of Syrian pound, and he expects more than SP 8 billion as gains.

Profits declined by SP 5 billion this year compared to last year because of Industrialists and investors’ activities stopped, closure of some branches of the bank in some places, terrorist acts and theft, asserted Dyab.

Distribution of ATMs will be a priority next year especially in safe places, and the bank will continue finance and guarantees of traders and industrialists and will finance the non-commercial operations of people by giving 5000 Euro per person to work on the stability of the local currency. The bank management will also commence giving loans to low-income people, the director added.

The Commercial Bank has stopped financing imports Because of some banking standards, he concluded.


M. T