Palestinian Authority passes $3.8 billion budget

Most of the funds to be funneled into social services

Illustrative photo of US currency. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)
Illustrative photo of US currency. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

The Palestinian Authority’s cabinet on Thursday approved a 2013 fiscal budget of $3.8 billion. The budget will be sent to PA president Mahmoud Abbas, who must sign it into law, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

The budget allocates $350 million for “financing in addition to transfers and operations,” including social assistance distribution in the amount of $110 million. Social service expenses are to account for $1.88 billion, the report said.

An increase of $110 million is meant to “expedite the execution rate of development projects, especially in rural population centers affected by the settlement and wall regime, in the C areas.”

Tax revenue will account for $2.5 billion, while the cabinet expects international assistance in the amount of $1.4 billion. Efforts to fight tax evasion are also to be increased, the report said.

The budget, according to the report, is designed to increase Palestinian independence, “which in turn consolidates the national capability to protect Palestinians’ sovereign decision-making in the face of all forms of political pressure,” and confront “the occupation and its colonization enterprise by supporting the citizens’ ability to remain steadfast in their homeland.”

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