Situation of national economy requires sharing of sacrifices, says Chahed | Tunisia News Gazette

Situation of national economy requires sharing of sacrifices, says Chahed

The multiple difficulties facing the national economy require a sharing of sacrifices, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed stressed on Tuesday night.

The achievement of sustained growth and the revival of investment are inherent to the containing public finances and budget deficit expected to stand at 3% by 2020 against 4.9% in 2018, Chahed added during a plenary session of the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) dedicated to the draft 2018 State Budget.

In response to MPs’ questions about the lack of incentive measures for investment, Chahed indicated that the measures to reboot investment are not included in the 2018 Finance Law (FL) but in that of investment.

The prime minister admitted that the government has failed to present the set of measures included in this law, mentioning that a programme will be devised shortly to introduce the various encouragements and incentives offered to investors in different sectors.

The 2018 FL cannot include all the projects and programmes aimed to step up growth and investment, he specified, pointing out that the 2016-2020 development plan includes regional and sector-based programmes.

Achieve major balances, institute social reforms and devise an economic programme are the 2018 FL’s main axes, he said, asserting the government’s keenness to contain the State Budget that increased by an average 10% per year during the 2010-2017 period and by 4% between 2017 and 2018.

As for the increase of the trade balance deficit, Chahed underlined that emphasis will be laid on the reinforcement of the competitiveness of local products to be able to access foreign markets and the consolidation of exports.

Imports will also be controlled by increasing customs taxes imposed on some products and putting an end to the import of certain products, a list of which has been already established by the Central Bank of Tunisia.

Besides, the premier reviewed the measures decided for the benefit of small enterprises consisting notably in reducing the tax on companies whose turnover does not exceed 600 thousand dinars, and establishing the guarantee mechanisms to which 10 million Tunisian dinars have been allocated.

Raising taxes on the financial and banking sector by 5% will help improve its contribution to the economy financing, he added.

Regarding the preservation of the purchasing power, Chahed highlighted his government’s commitment to the General Compensation Fund (CGC) while gradually proceeding to its rationalisation.

In this regard, he specified that funds worth 1.570 MD will be devoted to the subsidy of basic food products in the 2018 State Budget, in addition to 1.500MD devoted to hydrocarbons and 400MD to transport.

Chahed also spoke about the issue of renewable, announcing that the State had received 70 calls for tenders for the production of 210 megawatts of electricity through renewable energy, adding that a second call for tender will be launched in 2018 for the production of additional 800 megawatts.

Source: TAP News Agency

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