PM: Economy Is Stable and No Need to Fear for It

17 Feb

PM: Economy Is Stable and No Need to Fear for It

Feb 17, 2013

DAMASCUS, (SANA)- Prime Minister, Wael al-Halqi, on Sunday reiterated that the government is using all its capabilities to optimally secure the necessary requirements for the citizens and overcome the difficulties caused by the economic sanctions and the terrorist attacks.

In a speech at the opening meeting of the 3rd regular session of the People’s Assembly, al-Halqi said that the government is moving ahead with implementing its statement, indicating that the current stage requires everyone to shoulder their responsibilities.

He reviewed the measures taken by the government with regard to facing the arising conditions due to the crisis and implementing the political program to solve the crisis.

Under the current difficult circumstances, al-Halqi said, the government is working to meet all its responsibilities, first and foremost being preserving the security of the homeland and citizens and restoring stability to all areas.

Despite the daily terrorist attacks on vital infrastructure and service facilities, the Premier said, the government seeks with all means and capabilities to “secure the citizens’ needs of bread and oil derivatives…and rehabilitating and repairing the infrastructure and service facilities.”

The government is also working to secure the humanitarian and relief aid to the affected citizens due to the current events, he added.

He indicated that the armed groups’ targeting of the service sector is growing increasingly frequent and more systematic, referring particularly to “qualitative” assaults against all of its constituents, including the electricity generating and distribution plants and oil derivatives stations needed for generation and the railways used for transferring them.

This has caused a reduction in the percentage of meeting the needs of electricity per day from 80-90 % down to 50-60 %, said the Prime Minister.

He hailed the Electricity Ministry’s “heroic” efforts in terms of speed in fixing the electricity network defects, noting that the spare parts are being secured from friendly countries, particularly Iran.

As for the health sector, al-Halqi said it suffered some obstacles mainly because of the unfair economic sanctions imposed on the country, pointed out that 80 to 90 % of the medical equipment in Syria are of a foreign origin and many of their spare parts were used up over the past two years.

He noted that most of the medical equipment are now being secured from a number of friendly countries, including Iran, China, India and Pakistan.

Despite the attacks, which targeted over32 hospitals, 100 health centers and 157 ambulances, Premier al-Halqi stressed that “the health sector is still providing good services on the national level.”

He assured that all needs of medicines are covered, while the foreign-manufactured drugs are being imported via prompt contracts with friendly countries.

Regarding the water resources sector, the Premier said that shortage could happen due to the terrorist groups’ targeting of electricity generating stations, stressing that chlorine for sterilizing water has been secured after contact with the international organizations, on top being the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UNICEF.

He referred to the terrorist attacks against the transportation sector, including targeting airports and civil airplanes, noting that the procedures taken to modernize the air fleet through importing new airplanes have reached the final stage.

As for the education sector, al-Halqi said more than 2500 schools went out of service, while over 1500 others are used as shelters for displaced families, stressing however that the education process continues with high percentage of student and staff attendance.

Speaking about the Justice Ministry’s efforts to realize the judicial reform project, the Premier said the results of this project will appear in the coming months through the many legislations regarding corruption combat and the appointment of new competent judges.

Al-Halqi lauded the efforts exerted by the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Internal Trade to secure the main living requirements, particularly sugar, rice and flour, noting that the flour shortage, caused by looting the wheat silos and attacking the mills, was covered from Iran.

Regarding agriculture, he said that the government is working to provide seeds and fertilizers to farmers despite the difficult circumstances and deliver fertilizers from Syrian ports to farmers, particularly in the eastern areas.

Currency-wise, al-Halqi said that the SYP exchange rate is relatively stable in comparison with the past months, stressing that the government is funding all imports and adding that the “Syrian economy is balanced and diverse and there is no need to fear for it.”

Reviewing the situation of oil sector, the Premier said it is one of the sectors which have been and are still targets of the terrorists’ systematic attacks particularly on the oil fields in Deir Ezzor and Hasaka “to prevent oil derivatives from reaching to the citizens and thus create a societal humanitarian crisis.”

“Despite this, the national refineries are still producing crude and light oil,” said al-Halqi, noting that Homs Oil Refinery covers 70% of production capacity and Banias refinery works by 79.5% of its capacity, as they both provide 40% of national needs while the rest is covered through imports from the friendly countries.

He pointed out that the government is working on forming companies in cooperation with NGOs to provide protection of oil pipelines and secure needs of oil.

The Prime Minister stressed the government’s efforts to provide the requirements for ensuring the success of the political program to solve the crisis through continuing its meetings with political parties and opposition forces to prepare for the national dialogue conference.

He called upon all sides to take part in the political process in order to save Syria.

“We have provided all the guarantees to secure the success of the political process and we call upon all the Syrians to get engaged in this process,” al-Halqi said.

The Premier touched upon the joint efforts of made by the government and the Higher Relief Committee to “to secure the requirements of decent life for the affected people who were forced to leave the homeland.”

He slammed the tendentious media for exaggerating the number of the displaced Syrians abroad, stressing that the real number does not exceed 200,000 citizens who are staying at camps in neighboring countries.

He referred to the assigning of Head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Abdul-Rahman al-Attar, to coordinate with the relevant organizations in the hosting countries so as to communicate with displaced citizens and invite them to return to the homeland.

Al-Halqi said the al-Attar already started coordination in Lebanon and he will soon be in Jordan for the same purpose, noting that the response however from the Turkish side was negative.

The Premier reiterated that all necessary measures were taken to facilitate the return of the displaced Syrians, calling for speeding up the prosecution measures to release the detainees who will be proved not guilty.

In response to questions from Assembly members, al-Halqi said that what happened to Aleppo city is painful, and that a large convoy of petroleum products and supplies was sent to it on Saturday, stressing that the real problem isn’t lack of supplies, but rather transport and the cutting off of roads by terrorist groups who attack convoys, rob them and murder the drivers.

On the youth employment program, the Prime Minister acknowledged that there has been corruption in it and that several contests related to it have been annulled and will be held again.

On the protection of petroleum companies, al-Halqi said that the private companies protecting petroleum lines have existed prior to 2010 and are operating within the law, and that the Syrian Arab Army shouldn’t become occupied with protecting petroleum facilities as its main task is combating terrorists, which is why private companies are protecting these facilities on temporary basis until security conditions improve.

He also reviewed steps taken by the government to improve health services in Homs, saying that the health sector in Homs is good compared to the scale and repercussions of the crisis.

On compensating people affected by the crisis, al-Halqi said that compensations valued at SYP 1.35 billion have been distributed by 15/6/2012, and that SYP 1 billion has been distributed by the end of November 2012, with SYP 30 billion allocated for compensations in 2013.

English Bulletin

( Fonte: http://www.sana.sy )

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