Syrian Electricity Sector Defies Terrorism

DAMASCUS, (ST)_ Hardly a day goes by without  terrorist attacks against  electricity networks and supply lines of fuel stations , leaving the   electricity sector on top  of the list of key sectors vulnerable to  terrorists ‘ acts of sabotage and destruction.

“Costs of  damages against the electricity sector is estimated at 12 billion Syrian pounds. A sum  enough to illuminate all newly built villages in Syria  for three years”, said the Minister of Electricity Imad Khamis, who added  that some 2500 damaged electricity transformers, more than 12, 000 lighting pillars and more than 1000 tons of bare transmission lines were replaced..
Terrorists attacks are not limited  to the destruction of electricity networks, but to  stealing power transmission lines after cutting them , as (82) lines , main providers of  energy in Syria were damaged or stolen , with other 30 lines became inactive, as power transformers were stolen , and sold by terrorists   just for peanuts.  
Terrorist  acts are not the only reason  for the ill performance of the electricity sector in Syria, rather , the unfair economic sanctions imposed on the Syrian people have grave impact on aggregating the electricity crisis in the country depriving this vital sector from the ability to expand and be efficient.

Simultaneously, the sanctions were, but an incentive to reveal the hidden asset  in electricity workers and a challenge  for withstanding adverse  conditions and  overcoming work problems .
Workers in the electricity sector  spare no efforts  to re-operate stalled  electrical transformers since  years ago and  to rehabilitate electricity cables, counters, light poles and to ensure the availability of  spare parts , in the course of their relentless efforts  to meet electrical demands and withstand the sanctions.
Observers believe that terrorist groups attacks against services sectors in Syria, especially the electricity sector falls  in the context of perpetuated schemes to eliminate Syria  and undermine  citizens daily  needs, from a loaf of bread up to the industrial , agricultural, and developmental sectors  .

However, other observers consider terrorist attacks as an integral part of the evil  scheme aiming at undermining  Syria’s political, economic  and developmental successes, which all contributed  to the overall building the country in all walks of life.
Despite the ongoing attacks and violations over (20) months under the crisis in Syria, the electricity sector in Syria is still good compared with countries in the region. Workers in this sector  continue to sacrifice themselves for a noble goal to serve the home land with  50  electricity workers killed  by terrorists while on duty.

Syria Times

Damascus restores its intimate atmosphere


DAMASCUS, (ST)- Challenging the ongoing crisis which has been hitting the country for more than 19 months, the Damascenes insist to run a normal life with an overwhelming confidence that their homeland will emerge victorious from the battle against terrorism.





The nowadays streets and markets of Damascus are crowded with a large number of shoppers who want to buy their winter needs. Children are also seen playing safely in the city's old allays with the pigeons flying and landing freely in their beloved city. Such a scene makes one feel optimistic as the intimate Damascene atmosphere is gradually being restored to the city.

H. Moustafa

Active Navigation Movement Despite Economic Sanctions

TARTOUS, (ST)-  Tarots Port is witnessing an active navigation movement despite economic sanctions imposed on the country. It daily receives a number of ships which unload their cargo of various types of goods, Ali Hasan General Director of Tartous Port Company said.

 "The number of ships operating till Sunday evening reached 8, while the number of the waiting ships reached 7," added the General Manager of the Company in a statement to SANA.

 He also underscored that the work is done according to a shift system around the clock.

Hasan said "despite the economic sanctions imposed on Syria, the port works quickly and with high capacity to provide services to clients so as to keep attractive for investment and to maintain its competitiveness.

During the last ten months, the port's revenues reached about (SYP) 1.950 billion.

At the beginning of 2012, the number of ships reached about 1194 loaded with 6.262 million tons of goods. In addition, the number  of unloaded containers were  more than 28.000.

H. Shamout  

PA’s Budget and Accounts Committee Discusses Economy Ministry’s plans within investment budget

DAMASCUS, (ST) - The People’s Assembly’s Budget and Accounts Committee on Sunday discussed the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade’s strategy to implement its proposed plans and projects within the framework of the investment budget allocated to the ministry for 2013.

Discussions dealt with the procedures adopted by the economy ministry to ease the impacts of the crisis which has been hitting the country and with ways of securing enough foreign currency to buy basic materials.

Members of the Committee called for promoting products in local markets and supporting small-sized industrial enterprises which create new job opportunities and help secure income to some families.

They stressed the need to activate export-import activities, urging traders to ensure raw materials and not to manipulate any kind of goods.

 Mohammad Zafer Muhabbek, the Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade said “there is no problem in ensuring the foreign currency needed to buy food stuff, medicine and requirements of the oil and electricity ministries,” stressing that there is no need to worry about the increase of the foreign currency’s purchase price as it goes up and down according to expectations concerning current events.

Muhabbek commended the government’s plan to direct its economic policy eastward so as to cope with the global economic strategies, stressing the ministry’s keen efforts to meet citizens’ needs for food materials and to facilitate procedures to provide services to citizens with a minimum cost as soon as possible.

H. Moustafa

Economy Minister calls for meeting citizens' requirements

Damascus, (S.T) –How to go ahead in providing Syrian citizens with basic need at suitable prices in the light of current circumstances is the main concern of the government.

Dr. Mohammad Zafer Mihbek , Minister of  Economy and Foreign Trade, called upon parties concerned to identify basic needs of strategic importance and draw up a plan to ensure goods in markets to meet citizens' needs.

Addressing the Board of Directors of the General Establishment of Foreign Trade on Saturday, Dr. Mihbek said: "The establishment is playing a key role in importing and ensuring the internal markets' needs of all goods."

He asserted that the newly-formed board of directors has to adopt decisions that serve national economy through following up objective mechanism according to economic developments.

As a long-term goal, the ministry is planning to establish partnership with private sector to ease goods' movement, according to SANA.

For his part, the Establishment's Director General stressed that the staff is working around the clock to ensure citizens' needs despite blockage imposed on Syria.

Mohammad Hammoud pointed out that recent deals sealed to ensure food and non-food items.