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Fayyad announces measures to alleviate economic crisis
Published Tuesday 11/09/2012 (updated) 14/09/2012 10:31
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VAT will be reduced to 15 percent and diesel, gas and kerosene will
revert back to August prices, Salam Fayyad announced.
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad announced several measures on Tuesday to alleviate the economic crisis.

VAT will be reduced to 15 percent and diesel, gas and kerosene will revert back to August prices, he said during a Ramallah press conference.

Palestinian Authority ministers had met earlier on Tuesday to discuss ways of easing economic hardships as protests erupted across the West Bank this week against rising living costs.

Civil servants will receive half of their August salaries, or a minimum of 2,000 shekels ($500), on Wednesday and will be paid the rest of their salaries later this week, Fayyad added.

The economic measures will also include cuts on expenses for PA ministries, with the exception of the health, education and social affairs departments.

All expenses such as rent, travel and exchange coupons will be cut, the Ramallah premier announced.

Fayyad condemned attacks on public property during the recent price protests and praised the role of the Palestinian security forces in facilitating demonstrations during a difficult time.

The crisis faced by the Palestinian Authority is a result of an accumulation of problems over the past two years due to a deficit in the PA's budget, the split between Hamas and Fatah, and the continued occupation of 60 percent of the West Bank by Israel's military, he added.

Frustrated by rising prices and high levels of unemployment, Palestinians took to the streets this week to protest the dire economic outlook.

PA premier Salam Fayyad, who also held the finance minister post until earlier this year, has emerged as a focus of the protests, but demonstrators have also demanded that the Paris Protocol agreement signed with Israel in 1994 be amended.

The Protocol gave Israel sole control over Palestine's external trade, and collection of customs duties, allowing the state to serially hold back this revenue as punishment for Palestinian political measures, such as the bid for UN membership.

It also pegs VAT to Israeli tax rates, currently at 17 percent, despite the huge disparity in average Palestinian and Israeli incomes.
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1 ) Jospeh / Ghetto of Palestine
11/09/2012 15:12
The history has not registered any PM in the world lead a government in a Ghetto. Dr Fayyad is the first PM in world where he leads his government in Palestinian concentration camp. Rather than complaining him we should ask to dismantle the Ghettos in Land of Palestine.

2 ) ghada / palestine
11/09/2012 17:27
Let us all save by cutting down on cigarettes / Israeli juices and Israeli products beside chips and all unhealthy snacks at schools . let us teach our children to carry their food from home instead of buying it on daily basis. Let us think of each other instead of watching each other. let us clean in front of our doors and streets with no shame . As Gubran Khaleel Gubran said : Ask not what your country could do for you , Ask what you could do for your country.

3 ) Jeff / USA
11/09/2012 21:12
Might help PA authority if they didnt pay terrorists in Israeli jails a stipend for trying to blow innocent people on a bus or in a pizza parlor..right now 6% of their operating budget goes to this.

4 ) Tibi / Tubas
13/09/2012 05:45
"Fayyad's measures to alleviate the economic crisis, by reducing the VAT, diesel, gas, and kerosene" prices are planned to be paid for by BEGGING, BEGGING, BEGGING, AND MORE BEGGING, but the donor have seen little progress towards statehood or peace, and the just don't have as much money to waste, as they did before, so Fayyad's begging will fail, and so will his "measures" !!!

5 ) Mahmud / NL
14/09/2012 11:18
The priority thing to do is to cut the high salaries of managers and above of the PA. They earn too much money for nothing worth it. Reconsider the salaries of all these top officials (who are too many in the PA) starting form the PM himself أهم خطوة هي اعادة النظر في رواتب الموظفين ذوي الدرجات العالية . من مدير عام و حتى رئيس الوزراء نفسه و رئيس الدولة.. لماذا يتقاضى هؤلاء مبالغ خيالية مقارنة مع الوضع الحالي.. و هم كثيرون
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