Syria subsidies to hit US$7 billion in 2008
Syria's Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs affirmed on Monday that the Syrian government is committed to providing subsidies to citizens in order to improve their living standard.
In a meeting with journalists, Dr. Abdulla Al-Dardari also pointed out that any "new aid system will be gradual in a bid to eliminate economic and social shocks and achieve tangible improvement in living standards for the majority of Syrians."
Al-Dardari stated that the expected sum for subsidies in Syria in 2008 budget would amount to SP350 billion (some US$7 billion).
Subsidies on fuel and commodities constitute a pressing problem for the Syrian regime. An International Monetary Fund report from late 2005 found that subsidies equated to close to 15% of Syria’s GDP. Thus, economic experts claim that in order to reform its economy, Syria will have to cut state subsidies.
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