On Thursday 28th March, the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, approved the general budget of the State of Palestine for the 2013 Fiscal Year, and forwarded it to President Mahmoud Abbas for final approval and signing into law, said a Cabinet press release.
The overall expenditures in the draft law are $3.8 billion, including $350 million for development financing in addition to transfers and operations, which also include wages at $1.88 billion and social service expenditures, including the direct social assistance at $110 million.
The press release stated that it is expected that the increase in development financing, compared to last year (an increase of $100 million), would expedite the execution rate of development projects, especially in rural population centers affected by the settlement and wall regime, in the C areas.
It said, "This is in line with the main guiding principle of the budget this year and an extension of the policy in previous years, which is confronting the occupation and its colonization enterprise by supporting the citizens' ability to remain steadfast in their homeland."
It said that "In terms of revenues, it is expected that $2.5 billion would be collected from tax and related tolls, including clearance revenues."
As for international assistance, the cabinet said it is expected that $1.4 billion would be provided, including $1.1 billion for expenditures and $300 million for development financing, which are budgeted at $3500 million.
It is also expected that the stepped up efforts to increase the tax base and combat tax evasion as well as to further develop the revenues department would achieve set revenue collection goals, said the Cabinet.
The budget details come in line with the government fiscal policy, which aims to increase self-capabilities, therefore decreasing dependence on outside assistance and the need for it, which in turn consolidates the national capability to protect Palestinians sovereign decision-making in the face of all forms of political pressure, said the statement.
It is expected that the contribution of national revenues in the budget shall increase to 70% in comparison with 57% in 2008 and 67% in 2012.