AL-BALAGH: Sanaa weekly, 23-6-98. [Archives:1998/26/Press Review]

June 29 1998

[Islamic Action Movement (being formed)]   Main Headline:
1- Anger demonstrators loot 170,000 sacks of flour and condemn the government. Opposition parties demand the immediate return of money misappropriated and deposited by corrupt officials abroad.
2- Border agreement with Saudi Arabia will be signed by the end of this year. A summit meeting will be attended the President and King Fahd.
3- Foreign Minister Ba-Jammal denies that the USA has requested military bases in Yemen.
4- League of the Sons of Yemen warns against the policy adopted by the government.
5- Tax Authority sources said, the President pays the annual tax on all his property and earnings. He has no big fortune, they added.
Article Summary:
Food, Qat & World Bank
The ready-made prescriptions written by the suspect international twins – the World Bank and IMF – hit people where it really hurts, their subsistence. This what happened in Yemen. The number of poor people sharply increased and unemployment has become endemic.
The twins’ famous doses are surely leading to a slow death: the poor become poorer and the rich richer.
Why target basic food commodities, while there are stuff and crops such as qat? Tax on the growing and consumption of qat can be increased many folds. Then farmers my resort to other food crops.
The tax system is also in urgent need of reform. The state only gets about 30-40% of the amount it should get from tax payers. Other sources of hard currency squandering must be addressed such as the huge salaries paid to IMF and World Bank experts who come to Yemen to assess the economic situation. The huge wages given to Yemeni diplomats abroad are also depleting the country’s hard-currency reserves. Why start with basic food stuffs?