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Subsidies in Current Form a Threat for the State’s General Budget

Minister Yaghi stressed that improving the standard of living is one of the government's main goals.
Subsidies in Current Form a Threat for the State’s General Budget

The Minister of Finance, Dr. Kenan Yaghi, confirmed that the subsidy issue is the primary focus in the current period due to changes in plans and policies. This includes the idea of excluding groups not eligible for support, which did not exceed seven percent according to government estimates. He noted that the largest segment of electronic cards, amounting to 4.7 million cards, still receives government support in various forms. Therefore, claims of large financial savings from this procedure are inaccurate, as many decrees and decisions to improve the standard of living have absorbed any financial savings achieved. Additionally, the increased cost of subsidies, due to rising prices of subsidized materials such as wheat and fuel, has mitigated the impact of these savings.

In an interview with the economic publication, Yaghi explained that the subsidy in its current form poses a threat to the general state budget. The cost of a bundle of bread has reached 8,500 Syrian pounds due to the increase in the price of a kilogram of wheat received from farmers to 5,500 Syrian pounds. Meanwhile, the electricity subsidy has reached nearly 17 thousand billion and is outside the budget. He considers it a mistake to direct support to the commodity itself, which benefits everyone, whether deserving or not. Consequently, an open discussion is underway between academics, media professionals, the Baath Party, and the state to reach a new formula for providing support in a manner agreed upon by all parties in society.

No lifting of subsidies for health and education 

Minister Yaghi stressed that improving the standard of living is one of the government’s main goals, extending beyond the issue of improving salaries and wages to include the value of social support provided and spending on enhancing government services such as health, education, and transportation. To achieve this, necessary financial allocations have been made, with 3,000 billion Syrian pounds allocated in the 2024 budget for the health sector alone. He denied rumours of any plan to lift support for the health sector, emphasizing that public health and education remain priorities. For instance, bread, which suffers from significant waste, remains at its current price to prevent misuse, such as converting it into livestock fodder, while the government faces difficulties securing wheat at a price that suits citizens and reduces waste.

Based on this, the Minister of Finance explained that the concept of waste extends beyond bakeries to the health sector. He argued that providing health services to vulnerable segments of society is more effective than offering them to all, regardless of the citizen’s financial status. Improving hospital revenues, he noted, will enhance the quality of services in public hospitals and improve the income and conditions of hospital staff.


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.

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