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Finance minister: PA budget $3.6 billion for 2013

Feb. 5, 2013 7:13 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 9, 2013 5:18 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian Authority government is working on a draft budget of $3.6 billion for 2013, set for approval by the end of the month, the PA finance minister said Tuesday.

The budget contains a number of measures to try and reduce the budget deficit and increase revenues, Nabil Qassis told Ma'an.

“We decided to adopt a united taxation system in attempt to limit tax evasion. In addition, we raised taxes on car imports and purchase, and these procedures are expected to yield $50 million a year,” he said.

“The government raised taxes only on cars, and we are trying every possible means to obtain funds and reduce expenses. We want every institution to be involved in order to be able to reduce expenses,” he added.

The ministry of finance has already submitted the public budget of 2013 to the government. The government will first consult public institutions and trade unions before submitting the budget to the Palestinian president for approval.

The budget will be approved before March, he said.

Asked about civil servants’ monthly salary of January 2013, Qassis says Israel hasn’t paid tax revenues for January, neither has the Palestinian Authority received any donor funds.

The minister noted that the Israeli revenues transferred to the PA this month were the remainder of December funds after they deducted electricity and water bills Palestinian companies owe Israeli companies.

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