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Cabinet meeting approves of short-term economic and social program

Published the:  01/04/2011

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April 1, 2011 – TAP - The Interim Cabinet held, on Friday morning in Tunis, a meeting under Caretaker President Foued Mebazaa's chairmanship.
The meeting was devoted to the examination of a draft decree-law pertaining to taxation and financial measures to shore up the national economy, said Mr. Taieb Baccouche, the official Spokesman for the Cabinet.
The meeting also looked at a draft-decree law on the temporary measures to support trade, services and handicrafts enterprises, so that the latter be able to carry on their activities.
Besides, the Cabinet meeting examined a decree-law related to the temporary measures to assist labourers in the farming and fisheries sectors to help them carry on their activities.
Mr. Taieb Baccouche said that these projects aim to back up the Interim Government's short-term economic and social plan, a programme based on a new economic and social approach, in light of the new prospects opened up by the Tunisian Revolution.
He went on saying that this approach takes into account the fact that the national economy is going through a sensitive stage, one characterised by a slowing down economic activity and a heightened pressure on public finance, in spite of stabilisation of the exportation pace.
He pointed out that "these hardships are nothing compared with the sacrifices made by the Revolution martyrs", stressing the need for all parties to face up to this temporary situation "in order to prevent the devastating consequences that could affect hundreds of thousands of wage-earners".
The Cabinet Spokesperson specified that this new economic and social program of the Interim Government encompasses four main chapters, namely employment, regional development, economic vitalisation plan and review of the State budget, and social assistance.
He announced that the Government decided, during this session, to revise the 2011 State budget and finance law before the end of next May, with a view to redistributing the funds for the benefit of regions and priority areas.
In matters of employment, the Cabinet adopted an exceptional recruitment program in the civil service and administrative institutions, comprising some 20,000 jobs, concurrently with an economic revival plan comprising financial and taxation measures to support enterprises and promoters in all sectors to create some 20,000 new jobs.
Additionally, the State will focus its guidance interventions for the benefit of the jobless by means of training and granting assistance to 200,000 beneficiaries.
As regards regional development, Mr. Taieb Baccouche said it had been decided to restructure in a radical way the State budget to deploy an exceptional effort in favour of the regions, by means of bettering the citizens' living conditions, improving collective equipments and basic infrastructure and following up investment projects.
He pointed out, in this respect, that it had been decided to allocate the necessary funds to the regional authorities so as to boost the employment and social assistance mechanisms and take the steps that would help resumption of those public and private projects presently stalled at the level of regions, as a result of absence of the required security conditions.
He added that the regional councils are to be dissolved and replaced by specific representations made up of all components of civil society and the regional competences.
Regarding social assistance, the programme of the Government provides for reinforcing assistance dedicated to the underprivileged families, achieving coverage of all families living below the poverty line and granting assistance to Tunisians returning from Libya.
The programme recommends start of social negotiations to meet the legitimate expectations of wage-earners, while preserving the enterprises' competitiveness.
The Cabinet official Spokesman said that the Government program relies on a new perception of the economic and social policy, one that rests on positive interaction between the State, on the one hand, and the citizen, the Workers' Union and civil society, on the other.
On this occasion, the Interim Government launches a sincere call to the Tunisian people to work and strive every nerve, underlining that support to the Revolution, the achievement of its objectives and guidance of the democratic transition unavoidably should go hand in hand with the preservation of the national economy.
The Revolution, he specified, does not mean anarchy, reminding that revolutions which failed throughout history had such an ending because they fell as easy prays to bidding and chaos, which resulted in the collapse of economies.
Mr. Taieb Baccouche added that the Interim Government is betting on the awareness of Tunisian people who reached a level of maturity likely to protect them against these dangers in order to materialise the objectives of the Revolution and become a model for the other peoples.
Mr. Taieb Baccouche said, in conclusion, that each member of the Interim Government is entrusted with briefing on the programmes pertaining of his/her department as part of a pre-established schedule.
On the other hand, the Government decided to make available to all political parties all economic and social information it has, so that the parties be able to elaborate, with the required knowledge, their platforms.