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Saturday, 4 May 2013

Tunisia: Draft Law On Islamic Investment Fund to Be Submitted to NCA Shortly

Tunis — A draft law on the Islamic Investment Fund will be submitted shortly to the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), Minister in charge of Economic Affairs Ridha Saiidi said on Thursday.
Amendments introduced to this bill by the Finance Ministry were approved at a Cabinet meeting held on Thursday, he indicated at a press briefing after the meeting.
Finance Minister Elyes Fakhfakh said a technical committee has been created within his department to delve deeper into Islamic bonds (Sukuk), which should be launched late 2013.
The meeting also looked at the economic situation in the country and the economic indicators recorded in the first quarter of 2013, in the light of which it was decided to revise growth prospects down to 4% in 2013 against 4.5% predicted earlier, he indicated.
He also said a slight improvement was recorded in development expenditures in the first quarter of 2013, adding that Foreign Direct Investments have reached 147 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) against 77 MTD in the same period of 2012.
Though fiscal resources have increased by 0.7% compared to the first three months of 2012, they remain below the forecasts set under the 2013 State budget, the Minister noted.
Mr. Fakhfakh also pointed to a growth in 2013 State budget expenditures, citing the 772-MTD increase in subsidy expenses, in addition to the mobilisation of an additional amount of 400 MTD to restructure public banks.
Measures will be taken to mobilise fiscal resources worth 200 million dinars to address the additional pressure on the 2013 budget, said the Finance Minister.
The amount of loans granted under the 2013 budget is estimated at 6,817 million dinars, 1,800 contracted with the domestic market and 4,017 million borrowed from international markets, he indicated.
Mr. Fakhfakh also said that 700 MTD have been mobilised under investment credits while the amount of loans meant to support the State budget is estimated at nearly 4,300 MTD.
Nearly 1,200 MTD have already been deposited at the Public Treasury, he noted.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) seeks to implement a third programme to support the 2013 State budget through a loan worth 1,000 MTD, the Minister stressed, adding that Tunisia has begun talks with the French government to convert its debts.
Minister of Tourism Jamel Gamra said, on his part, that the Cabinet meeting had emphasised the need to strengthen the role of regional tourism councils.
He also announced a growth in booking rates during the last four weeks, particularly from French and Russian markets.
Efforts will be exerted to attract tourists Algerian, Libyan and Gulf tourists, he indicated.
(Tunis Afrique Presse, 2 May 2013)

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