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Palestinian cabinet discusses draft budget worth over $5 billion

Funding gap of $385 million revealed

The Palestinian Authority’s cabinet discussed in its weekly session on Jun 10, the 2015 draft public budget that will complete the emergency budget approved on March 24, when Israel was withholding its tax revenues.

The cabinet was briefed by Shukri Bishara, the minister of finance, on the general frame of the budget and the revenue strategy for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, Qilnews.com reports.

According to the draft, the proposed budget is estimated at $5.02 billion, of which $1.87bn is allocated for current expenses, $1.15bn for operating expenses and $1.15bn for development expenses – including $800 million for the reconstruction of Gaza.

The cabinet’s statement revealed a funding gap of $385m, which means that the government will be forced to tighten its belt in order to bridge the gap, primarily by cutting monthly expenses.

The government expects payments to rise by 3.8 per cent compared with the budget for 2014. Total revenues are forecast to rise to $2.85bn, or by six per cent, compared with the previous year.