Syrian PM Decides to Allocate Mobiles to Top Officials
Syrian Prime Minister Moustafa Miro has recently decided to allocate a prepaid cellular phone to all high-ranking Syrian state officials, reported the Daily Star newspaper.
Miro issued a decree earlier this week allocating a phone, cellular line, subscription fee, and prepaid calls within Syria and Lebanon to the Baath Party’s leading figures.
Among those who have received lines at state expense are all members of the Baath Party Regional Command, the party’s National Command, its Central Committee, the Central Committee of the National Progressive Front (an umbrella organization of socialist parties), the Office of the Prime Minister, the entire Cabinet, all the prime minister’s deputies, all the ministers’ deputies, the People’s Assembly, and all directors of government institutions.
At the moment, each line costs $400, while phones range from $160-$500.
The decree, said the paper, covers approximately 2,000 officials, who will be draining the national treasury of at least of $1.2 million.
Miro’s decree also says that all those who leave office or are pensioned off will keep their cellular line at the state’s expense, said the paper.
A final clause includes the flexible phrase: “Whomever is approved by the prime minister” is also eligible for a mobile phone.
Cellular were introduced in Syria in February 2000. Originally costing 60,000 Syrian pounds ($1,200), they were affordable to only a limited few.
On April 15, 2001, the cost dropped to 20,000 pounds – Albawaba.com