How the ruling party views economic reforms [Archives:2005/819/Business & Economy]

February 24 2005

Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
The meeting of the General People Congress's Permanent Committee at the conclusion of its fourth cycle from February 19-20, has shown both the government and opposition support economic reform.

Explaining GPC's undeniable achievements, President Saleh's speech called on national political parties to keep away from media friction and partisan mischief.

“What the GPC is achieving throughout its democratic course is attributed to its will emanating from the transparency in GPC's national work theory.”

President Saleh stressed the importance of finding out new alternative resources to bolster the national economy by exploring more oil, gas, and mineral reserves and encouraging investment especially in fisheries, tourism, and agriculture.

“We should adopt new mechanisms to promote tax and customs income, fight tax evasion, address the overpopulation problem, and practice family planning,” he said, calling for the need to take care of youth and women and enhance their role in the process of the national development.

Contrary to what many observers expected, the Permanent Committee did not disapprove of the coming economic reform package. It appreciated the development achievements of the GPC's government and the economic and monetary stability which curbed the inflation rates at 2-10%, the growth rate (4-5.5%), and improvements in education, health care, social security, and infrastructure projects.

Those achievements would not have been accomplished if the economic reforms program had not been implemented. The program of financial, administrative and economic reform has saved the country from deterioration and enabled it to recover confidence and restore relations with partners either on bilateral basis or with international and regional funds and organizations.

The Permanent Committee supported the plans and visions proposed by the government to upgrade economic conditions and improve living standards of the Yemeni citizens. It also welcomed the Wages Draft Strategy, which has been passed by the parliament. This approval means that the Ruling Party is standing by the government and supporting the reforms although GPC's representatives at the Parliament pledged in the past to oppose any reforms that might impact upon poor people.

The opposition Islah Party had previously lashed out at the economic reforms and the policy of starvation on the part of the government.