Corruption fighting goes progressingBajammal: We liberated subsidized goods in service of the consumer & fight smuggling [Archives:2005/821/Business & Economy]

March 3 2005

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
In his economic lecture delivered recently the Yemeni Prime Minister Abdulqader Bajammal considered the state of improvement the national economy has been witnessing the past years is attributed to the economic and financial policies followed within the frame of the program for reforms. He has affirmed that order and law are the only elements capable of putting an end to administrative corruption. The reform in this regard depends mainly on the extent of understanding shown by all of the importance of collaboration and common support for the choice of efficient elements who are capable of effecting development to the administrative system.

While Bajammal's talk seemed to be as a reply to accusations of the government machinery as being corrupt and pursuing a policy of impoverishment against those of limited income, the prime minister of Yemen said the various programs that were implemented within the frame of safety net were aimed at fighting poverty and alleviating its burden, whether through the social care fund or the social fund for development or the project of public works.

Mr Bjammal strongly attacked authorities confirming that centralization was the starter of corruption and harming the state security and safety. He had also broached, in his lecture, the tracks of economic, financial and administrative reforms that had been implemented in Yemen throughout more than one decade. He said in a comparison between the year 1996 and 2004 that projects of roads had risen from 4000 km to 8000 km, and from 250 thousand telephone lines to more than one million lines and thus the whole country had become covered with wireless and cable communications. He added that the number of universities increased from two universities to eight. Concerning the social security more than 650 thousand persons benefited from it.

As for sectors of education, health, airports, industry, agriculture and electricity, they have witnessed big growth in appropriations and achievements most of their financing were from allotments for subsidizing commodities so that the rate of growth reached 5.2 and inflation dropped from 77% to 3.5%, while the budget deficit dropped to 3.5% instead of 22%, the prime minister added. He said the central bank reserves rose to 5.2 billion dollars compared to 90 million dollars in the past. Capacity of the electric power expanded to 70% and presently there has been an agreement signed forth increase of power to 350 megawatt. In the next two months, 350 kilowatts would be added and 240 kilowatt of high-tension lines between Mareb and Sana'a, will also be added. The prime minister affirmed that the government was ready to implement big projects for cement industry and rehabilitation of the existing cement plants.

Liberation of some commodities prices has led to fighting smuggling of goods that were subsidized by the government; part of those goods was used for feeding cattle. In addition to that, the base of small distributors and beneficiaries and also owners of small enterprises has been enlarged. Mr Bajammal affirmed that Yemen was in need of maintaining the reforms so that to help the economy restore its prosperity by saving additional funds for the development in order that we are able evolve the developmental process and improve the living conditions of citizens as well as combating the long column of smugglers an the corrupt. This is because the price difference could not be tackled but through price reforms and fighting corruption.