Since the Syrian government decided to lift government subsidies for a category of Syrian households, at least 200,000 objections have been filed on the first day of the decision’s implementation.
The government has not yet confirmed decisions on distributing and granting support to those who deserve it, as these decisions have not proceeded in the right direction.
“The decision to lift government subsidies—without any detailed study of citizens’ needs—will inevitably eliminate the middle class, transforming it into a poor social class that can barely secure a fraction of its daily needs,” said economist Muayyad al-Ahmad.
Amongst those owning a commercial enterprise, many have a small gross income and live in difficult circumstances. Not all members of the chambers of commerce have huge financial resources, Ahmad told al-Hal.
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Dozens of complaints have been registered from the ranks of the commercial registries. Many complainants have been outside Syria for years, yet subsidies have nevertheless been withdrawn from their families who remain inside the country.
Imposing the war’s consequences on citizens
Engineer Qassem al-Masalma, president of the Daraa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the local newspaper Tishreen that the chamber does not agree to requests to reduce the grades of traders and industrialists from the first, second, and third grades to the fourth degree, as ordered by the Ministry of Interior Trade and Consumer Protection.
Traders and industrialists registered with the Chamber hope not to be confused amidst the Chamber’s review, which aims to reduce their grades to the fourth degree. Such a downgrading is not permitted under the ministries’ directives, as mentioned earlier.
Government agencies justified the subsidy withdrawal decision with reference to the country’s economic conditions and sanctions, which have been in place for years. The decision would impoverish those excluded from subsidies, thereby increasing the number of low-income households. According to international reports, about 85 percent of Syrians inside the country now live below the poverty line.
According to local sources, dozens of commercial and industrial business owners have withdrawn and canceled their commercial records. This means that, if the government does not overturn its original decision, the subsidy withdrawal could drive many traders and industrialists to quit their professions. Subsequently, they could move to another profession, or they may choose the worst option: traveling outside the country, which has already lost half its population.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.