Syria restructures subsidy and excludes half a million families

Damascus, Jan 30 (Prensa Latina) The Syrian government announced today the first phase of restructuring the subsidy for basic food and petroleum products that excludes more than half a million families and individuals.

Approximately 596,000 family cards will be frozen, which is equivalent to 15 percent of the total beneficiaries of the subsidy, revealed the Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Technology, Fadia Suleiman, in an interview with national television.

He explained that excluded families own more than 450,000 cars, which is equivalent to 47 percent of private cars in the country.

The Vice Minister added that this measure applies to almost 344,000 cards belonging to people who left the country for more than a year and another 83,000 deceased whose relatives obtained their subsidy.

He also clarified that all private cars whose engine is greater than 1,500 CC and model after 2008 will not get more subsidized fuel.

The determination of these segments was based on the criteria of wealth, property and income level, however the excluded persons will be able to buy all the goods at the cost price set by the Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection, he clarified.

The official announced that it is currently being studied to exclude large and medium-sized taxpayers, importers and exporters, founders of private banks and exchange houses, owners of commercial registries, owners of universities, private schools, gas stations, bakeries, quarries and driving schools.

Prime Minister Hussein Arnous had announced that his government will continue the subsidy approach despite the growing financial difficulties that this implies due to the blockade imposed by the United States and the European Union.

He clarified that the objective of its restructuring is to increase assistance to the most vulnerable families in society and allocate the savings to reduce the budget deficit and increase wages and social assistance.


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