The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) passed on Saturday, February 1, a $1.28 billion national budget for the year 2003, carrying a $747 million deficit. Palestinian Authority (PA) officials stressed that the budget plan is contingent upon monthly transfers of tax revenues collected by Israel as well as upon the provision of aid promised by the Arab nations.
In its third year, the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation sees the 3.6 million inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza Strip facing unemployment rates of over 40 percent, while the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) totals no more than two billion dollars. The Palestinian economy is projected to shrink by seven percent in 2003.
At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, held in Davos, Switzerland, last month, PA officials stated they are launching deep-seated financial and corporate governance reforms designed to enhance transparency. The PA is expected to allow independent auditors to scrutinize its commercial assets and investments. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )