PA adopts “emergency budget” to face crisis of Israeli’s tax cuts

PA adopts “emergency budget” to face crisis of Israeli’s tax cuts

Agency News

Ramallah, Mar 10 : The Palestinian Authority (PA) officials announced on Sunday the adoption of "emergency budget" to face Israel's withdrawal of fund from the Palestinian tax revenues.

Minister of Finance and Planning Shukry Bshara said during a press conference held in Ramallah city, that the decision was taken during a meeting between officials and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The emergency budget will include a number of austerity measures, including the suspension of appointments, bonuses, reducing travel expenses and stopping the adoption of the budget for the development projects, Bshara said.

He pointed out that the plan will adopt a budget based on cash disbursement for what is available in the Palestinian treasury "in accordance with rational and just priorities so as not to affect the services provided to citizens."

According to Bshara, the PA will pay the salaries for government employees for the February's month, in full amount for those salaries less than 2,000 shekels (551 US dollars). For those who get more than 2,000 shekels, they will receive 50 per cent of their total salary.

Bishara pointed out that the salaries of martyrs, prisoners and wounded were paid in full at the beginning of this month.

He stressed the financial difficulty of the PA, and said they need to borrow 50 to 60 million US dollars per month over the next six months, pointing out that they will ask Arab and Islamic banks and funds and the League of Arab States to help them. The deduction of Israel from the proceeds of tax revenues is "illegal" due to US political decisions to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, according to Bishara.

Bishara said that the Israeli side had been informed by an official letter recently of the PA's refusal to deduct from Palestinian tax revenues without prior bilateral scrutiny with the Palestinian side.Israeli government has decided to withhold around 138 million US dollars in tax revenues that Israel collects from the Palestinian trade on behalf of the PA.

Israel said that it decided to cut the money from the tax revenues, which the PA pays to the families of Palestinian prisoners and those were killed during attacks they carried out against Israel. Abbas said in response that he will not accept the tax revenues if any amount of it was to be deducted.UNI