10 April 2014

Tunisia: Tourist Season and Fight Against Smuggling Focus of Cabinet Meeting

Tunis, — The national strategy of fighting against smuggling and parallel trade and preparations for the next tourist season were the focus of a cabinet meeting held, Thursday in Tunis, under the chairmanship of interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa.

Official Spokesperson for the Prime Ministry and Minister to the Prime Minister in charge of Co-ordination and Follow-up of Economic Affairs Nidhal Ouerfelli said that "the anti-smuggling strategy consists in field interventions, surveillance and mobilisation of all material means and human resources to fight this phenomenon as well as awareness-raising through media on the seriousness of this phenomenon and its repercussions on the economic system."

He added that a commission supervised by the Prime Ministry was created to ensure the follow-up of this strategy and present regular reports so as to make the necessary decisions in this regard.

The cabinet meeting also focused on the national strategy to promote Tunisian tourism, at the end of a strategic study on the sector, which focused on diversifying tourist trade and improving its quality. In this connection, additional credits amounting to 13 million dinars were granted to support the budget of tourism promotion for 2014.

Ouerfelli also spoke of the outcome of the PM's visit to the United States, pointing out that it was an occasion to launch the strategic dialogue between the two countries and discuss the economic, security, technological and scientific co-operation between Tunis and Washington.

He reminded of the $ 500-million-loan guarantee granted by the United States to Tunisia. The commission was created to ensure the follow-up of the agreed projects.

The Cabinet meeting also adopted 14 draft laws related to the approval of 5 financial protocols with France providing for the establishment of security equipments on the level of land and sea access as well as a project of supply of mobile units of Tunis rapid railway network and a renovation project of the railway network between Sfax, Gafsa and Gabes.

The meeting also approved the authorisation of the Tunisian State to subscription of 5 Arab companies in the fields of finance and investment as well as a draft law providing for increasing the subscription of Tunisia to the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF).

The cabinet meeting approved 42 draft decrees including notably the amendment of the decree related to setting the premium for soldiers of land army (deployed in desert) and the naval forces in addition to a draft decree related to setting the conditions of repayment of the bond issue for 2014 and a draft amendment of the decree related to the creation of a premium for the state contribution to milk drying locally. The meeting also adopted a draft decree related to setting the price of cereals and their storage for 2014 as well as a draft decree related to setting registration conditions and procedures on the voting roll related to the elections of the members of the chambers of commerce and industry.

It also approved the amendment of a decree related to granting some prerogatives of the government members to the governors notably in matters of signing decisions of demolition concerning infringement in illegal building on the coastal public property.

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