14 February 2013

Eritrea: Cabinet of Ministers Conducts Meeting

Asmara — The Cabinet of Ministers conducted a meeting today at the State House. The main agenda item focused on the strategic priorities regarding development programs and approval of the budget for 2013.

In a working paper he presented at the opening stage, President Isaias Afwerki highlighted the development programs that determine capital expenditure priorities sector by sector after indicating the need for scrutinizing balance of payment vis-à-vis avoiding fiscal imbalance, implementation of strategies and plans that raise national income on the basis of economical utilization of resources, and thereby ensure sustainable growth.

Indicating that energy supply ranks top among the demands involving huge foreign currency, the President outlined the action programs mapped out for implementation as regards generating energy, agricultural and infrastructural development, transport and raising national energy reserve through putting in place the necessary depots and ensuring efficient distribution system. He further indicated the necessary budgetary allocation to this end, besides calling for stepped-up endeavors targeting economical use of energy resources. Moreover, President Isaias referred to the budget allocated with a view to ensuring supply of essential consumer goods that entail foreign currency expenditure.

The President also explained that investment in the development of modern agricultural projects is one of the top national priorities. In this connection, he cited the programs set for implementation focusing on livestock development, processing of agricultural products, enhancement of cash crop harvest, ensuring ample supply of agro-chemicals and tackling the challenges encountered in the development of fishery resources vis-à-vis the required budgets.

President Isaias went on to highlight the construction projects due to be accomplished this year and beyond, besides elucidating programs envisaged for implementation as regards meeting energy supply for cement factory, production of construction assets including marble, ceramics items, metal sheets, wood and plastic materials and the like.

Accordingly, he indicated the budget allocation for the setting up of medium factories producing metals, precast materials, agricultural and construction plastic pipes, as well as establishment of a small-scale gold mining plant, among others.

Furthermore, President Isaias outlined the budgetary allocation for electrification materials, digging machineries, drug supply and grain depot facilities, in addition to improvement of port, aviation, communications and information facilities.

Following an in-depth discussion on the explanation the President gave regarding the development priorities for 2013 and beyond, as well as the requisite budget, the Ministerial Cabinet meeting adopted the budget proposal and issued the necessary directives.

Also at the meeting, President Isaias gave extensive briefings as regards the '21 January 2013 incident.' After conducting in-depth discussion on the issue, the Cabinet of Ministers concluded its meeting.

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