Cash strapped PA sells telecom stake to pay February salaries
The Palestinian Authority (PA) sold its 35 percent stake in local cellular service provider Jawwal in order to pay the salaries of its employees.
PA Minister of Information Technology Azzam Al-Ahmed told KUNA that the shares were acquired by telecom company PalTel for $42 million. PalTel already holds 65 percent of Jawwal’s shares.
Hit by a sharp drop in support from impatient donor nations, the PA has been forced to withdraw bank loans to pay the salaries of some 125,000 employees. Some of the PA’s largest supporters have warned of a possible drop in financial aid unless serious measures are taken to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“If this situation continues ... we will not be able to provide salaries next month,” said PA Minister of Economy, Maher Masri to AP mid-January. The minister said the PA has a monthly income of about $20 million and expenditures of at least $85 million. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)