DAMASCUS, (ST) - The international sanctions imposed on Syria from the very beginning of the crisis have aimed at disrupting the total balance of the Syrian economy, including that of the general budget, payments, exchange rate, foreign currency reserve, general debt, inflation, unemployment and money supply, said Finance Minister Mohammad al-Jleilati during a People’s Assembly (PA) meeting on Sunday. The meeting was dedicated to discuss the government’s financial statement on the bill of the (SYP) 1383 bln state budget for 2013 fiscal year.
“The sanctions have overshadowed the state budget leading to an increase in its deficit. The negative impacts were embodied in low general revenues of the state and lower investment revenues caused by the sanctions imposed on the oil sector.” Jleilati said.
He added “production has also stopped in many public and private economic institutions and companies causing an increase in the current expenditure which is earmarked to providing subsidies to companies and institutions, social subsidies to citizens, job opportunities and requirements of education and health care development.”
The minister pointed out that the current circumstances have required a decrease in investment expenditure with priority given to projects under implementation, referring to a package of financial reforms like rationalizing general spending in coordination with government ministries, commissions and administrations.
In the government’s financial statement, Jleilati said that the funds, allocated to ministries and affiliated bodies from the current expenditure of the general budget, have amount to (SYP) 317,896mln, referring to the increase of the government’s contribution to social subsides from (SYP) 386bln in 2012 to (SYP) 512bln in 1213.
He added that an amount of (SYP) 17914mln was earmarked to subsidies provided to economic, service and transport institutions and companies, and another amount of (SYP) 6127mln was earmarked to providing job opportunities.
“The funding allocated for investment reached (SYP) 275bln in the 2013 budget with focus is to be put on top priority projects under implementation,” Jleilati said, pointing out that an amount of (SYP) 86bln was earmarked as reserve funds to investment projects.
Concluding his statement, Jleilati underlined the necessity of stepping up efforts to combat tax evasion and solve accumulated financial problems to ensure necessary funds, stressing also the importance of developing financial and tax related legislations in order to achieve justice.