Al-Wahda [Archives:2005/807/Press Review]

January 13 2005

5 January 2005
Main headlines

– Civil service minister: implementation of the first stage of wages strategy

– 871 persons, victims of suicide in Yemen in two years

– Yemen to announce results of official study on the phenomenon of children smuggling

– Project for development of Aden airport

– Training of female journalists on designing electronic websites

– Amending the pecuniary law and that of carrying weapons

Columnist Yahya Tahir al-Hakeem writes saying again the discussion and argument is aroused on reform and its necessity for encountering failures in the economic situation and the financial, monetary and administrative policies. Reviewing the programs of reform submitted by the government regarding lifting subsidy on oil products and the necessity of approving it so that to avoid continuation of the disaster of maintaining burdens of subsidy on the budget and the opinion of the opposition, the reforms should be comprehensive. they have to include all fields of life, especially the economic field. The wanted thing is not to confine reforms to one aspect and leave others without any reform.

The opponents to price rise argue that what is the benefit of lifting the subsidy on oil products and the consequences of rise in prices and continuation in deterioration of the standard of living of the citizens and not reforming the big gap between prices and the level of the citizens' incomes and also the smuggling and evasiveness from taxes that results in depriving the government of billions of riyals? Those billions could be used in meeting needs of development, and social, health and educational services and others. He who reviews all that would be certain that the process of reform is the demand of all and could not be achieved successfully without its being comprehensive and implemented by a strong political will and without any selectivity or hesitation. Thus, the state apparatuses could be able to design plans and programs for the establishment of real development projects.

The process of reform is an indivisible one and continuation of the policies of price reforms alone would be unavailing policies. Example of this is the lifting of subsidy on consumer goods like wheat and flour taken some years ago without the citizen feeling tangibly any fruits from them. Nowadays the work is going on for effecting price reforms by lifting subsidy on oil products as if the government has no other alternative but price options. It is as if the government does not have the courage for introducing real reforms in administration, finance and economy. The state responsibility is not confined to reforming one aspect and leaving others.