20 December 2012

Tunisia: Government Declaration On Draft State Budget and Finance Bill for 2013

Tunis — The 2013 Finance Bill targets a 4.5% growth to confirm the economic revival started in 2012, speed up job creation, fight against unemployment and carry out major wealth-creating investment projects, Interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said Thursday.

Presenting the Government's Declaration on the draft State budget and the Finance Bill for 2013 before the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), he said it is possible today, one year after the first post-election Interim Government took office, to make an assessment of the government's work and challenges it faces.

He expressed hope that the new finance bill will consolidate the signs of revival of the Tunisian economy and the improvement of its capacity to achieve development and create jobs.

Efforts will focus in 2013 on achieving balance between the requirements of economic efficiency and social justice on the one hand and accelerating the pace of reforms to establish the rule of law and strengthen decentralisation and local democracy, on the other one, said Mr. Jebali.

The finance bill also seeks to improve the purchasing power of citizens through developing programmes and mechanisms likely to control rising prices and completing the wage increases programme in public and private sectors decided in 2002.

The finance bill for 2013 also proposes to increase the pace of private domestic and foreign investment by carrying out reforms likely to improve the business environment and competitiveness, in addition to boosting private initiative.

Mr. Jebali also highlighted the concern to adopt a new regional development scheme, boost the pace of project implementation in disadvantaged and marginalised regions and take due interest in underprivileged social segments.

The PM said the rate of mobilisation of own resources is expected to increase in order to limit budget deficit to around 5.9% and public debt to 46.8% of the GDP.

The new budget also aims to reduce the current deficit of external payments to 6.8% of the GDP while seeking to control the management of foreign debt and prices.

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