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.