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Minister says PA financial crisis is structural

Jan. 23, 2013 7:01 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 27, 2013 4:33 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority's financial crisis is structural, the finance minister said Wednesday, adding that the deficit has exceeded $1.4 billion.

"A structural solution is needed in order to fill the gap between expenses and revenue," Nabil Qassis told a committee of lawmakers in Ramallah.

Qassis told the committee, headed by the speaker of Fatah's bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council Azzam al-Ahmad, that several measures should be taken to decrease the deficit.

"We need to stop exhausting the government's capacities and to decrease the budget deficit which has exceeded $1.4 billion."

The finance minister criticized the general culture which he said exhausted the PA's resources and increased the deficit.

Qassis called for greater cooperation between his ministry and the PLC to find solutions and minimize expenses.

The minister said the 2013 budget had not yet been completed because of the "foggy" financial situation caused by the current crisis.

However, he said he expected the budget deficit to be similar to that of 2012 despite a 9 percent rise in government income.

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