22 December 2012

Tunisia: General Debate On Draft State Budget - Prime Minister's Answer

Tunis — Answering questions of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA)members about the draft state budget for 2013, Interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali rejected the definition of the development model which some MPs described as "model of Ben Ali," quoting as an example the budget devoted to the farming sector in the region of Jendouba which rose from 31 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) in 2010 to 73 MD in 2013.

He said that the government is endeavouring to make underprivileged areas in the former regime an actual driving force for development in post-revolution Tunisia. Besides, he made no comment about the rises in management budgets of the presidency (7,3%), the Prime Ministry (7,1%), and the NCA (12,8%).

As regards the building of faculties of medicine in inland areas, the PM affirmed that an experts committee had been set up to look at this issue .

On the other hand, he denied the news that tourist trade had recorded a decline this year, saying that the number of tourists had increased by 28% in 2012 compared with last year and tourism revenues rose by 35% in the same period.

Speaking of tax evasion, he said that the indicators proved the development of tax inspection, adding that the sector revenues rose from 781 MD in 2010 to 919 MD in 2012.

In the end, the PM reiterated his call on the NCA members to speed up the completion of the constitution in order to focus on the elections, saying that the important thing is to reach national consensus .

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