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Regular Cabinet meeting

Published the:  07/06/2011

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June 07, 2011 - TAP - The Cabinet held, on Tuesday, its regular meeting, under the chairmanship of Caretaker President Foued Mebazaa.
Cabinet Official Spokesman Taieb Baccouche said that the Interim Prime Minister is to announce on Wednesday the date of the Constituent Assembly's election, during the meeting to be held in Tunis with the participation of representatives of the authorised political parties, as well as national figures and representatives of national and international media.
He said that the Cabinet meeting looked into several draft decree-laws. The first one, dealing with the complementary finance law for 2011, is aimed to revise the initial investments appropriated as part of the State budget and to take into account the financial repercussions resulting from the exceptional measures decided after the January 14 Revolution.
Mr. Baccouche specified that the political and social events experienced by Tunisia after the Revolution had negative impacts on economic growth in general, and on tourism and foreign investments, more particularly. These fall-outs generated important pressures on public finance, and consequently the growth rate is to stand at about 1% at fixed prices, by the end of the current year.
The world economic situation, during the first four months of 2011, has been marked by steadily rising prices of basic products, particularly those of consumer goods and hydrocarbons, he said.
To contain these repercussions on the economy, in general, and on public finance, in particular, additional funds have to be appropriated to the State budget with a view to meeting some needed expenses, notably by guaranteeing the required amounts to programmes of additional recruitment in the civil service, the Cabinet official spokesman explained.
These funds are also meant to reinforce the modest resources allocated to the encouragement fund to artistic and literary creation to entice creators in different fields, in addition to reducing taxation on artistic and literary production, distribution and shows.
The draft decree-law includes provisions aiming at guaranteeing additional resources to the State budget to face up to the rise in volume of public spending.
The second draft decree-law amends and completes law n°46 of May 15, 1995 related to the status of customs officers and aimed to adapt it to the principles of the Revolution, including the suppression of provisions banning this body's right to form a union.
The draft decree-law helps customs officers set up an independent union to defend their financial and moral interests and provides for setting up the legal mechanisms and guarantees which protect the citizens and the different players in the customs services against all forms of hindrance or disturbance of progress of these services.
He said that the third draft decree-law provides for the amendment to and completion of the 1995 fundamental law n°11 on sports structures, towards establishing the principle of election of all members of federal bureaus and steering committees of sports associations and federations.
He said, in this regard, that the amendment seeks to break off with all forms of imposed nominations, recommendations or any other forms of past practices that undermine transparency and credibility of key sports managing structures.
He added that these provisions also regard national and regional leagues of different sports federations.
The meeting also listened to a report by the Interim Prime Minister on Tunisia's participation in the G8 Group meeting, Mr. Baccouche said.
The prime minister emphasised, in this report, the consideration enjoyed by the Tunisian Revolution, insofar as it sparked changes, particularly across the Arab world, towards democratic transition.
Mr. Baccouche added that the interim PM had presented to the G8 summit the guidelines and axes of the economic and social programme to guarantee two major objectives:
  • A short-term goal, to meet the country's needs in economic and social fields,
  • A mid-term target, to prepare a future programme providing conditions adjusted to democratic transition.
It is rests on five mechanisms: to promote basic infrastructure, develop human resources and employment, boost external exchanges and partnership, and vitalise the financial and economic development systems.
Mr. Béji Caïd Essebsi also said funds requested by Tunisia are estimated at 25 billion dinars, stretching over a five-year period, including 5 billion dollars in the short
range (2011-2012). He said that these funds only account for 25 % of the needed means, as the largest share will be provided by the national effort.
The official spokesman for the Cabinet also said that the meeting was briefed by the Agriculture Minister on progress of the current farming season.
He said that data pointed to significant quantities of rains, compared to the previous season, harvests have started under encouraging conditions, and that several other measures have been taken in the areas of fishing and environment.
The meeting also listened to exhaustive reports presented by the ministers of the interior and national defence on the security situation in the country.
Emphasis was placed, in particular, on the painful events in Métlaoui, Governorate of Gafsa, which caused human and material losses.
Mr. Baccouche added that the meeting also reviewed measures taken to put an end to such incidents. He stressed the need to call on all citizens and parties to avoid recurrence of such events and make sure that they do not have any negative effects on interests of the citizens and running of national exams.