Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance in the Gaza government, which is run by Hamas, Awni al-Basha, said that his government buys gas from Egypt at prices that exceed the international price. Al-Basha explained in an interview with Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed that the financial reality of the government is very difficult in light of the siege of the occupation.
The financial reality of the Gaza government in light of the continued blockade
The financial situation of the government of the Gaza Strip is very difficult, and this reality resulted from the Palestinian division on the one hand, and the subsequent tightening siege by the occupation on the other hand, which had a great impact on the economic situation and financial aspects, and liquidity became scarce and the purchasing power of the citizen in Gaza weak, And therefore the merchant could not market his products, which caused a widespread recession in the markets.
Imports decreased a lot, while at the time when 750 trucks arrived in the sector daily, the total now entered is about 340 trucks. That is, the percentage of the decrease in trucks coming from the Kerem Shalom crossing exceeds 50%, and this resulted from the citizen’s inability to purchase, which affected the merchant and his ability to pay taxes, and thus negatively affected the ministry’s ability to pay its obligations, whether it was for ministries as expenses Operating, salaries or capital expenditures, as our pay rate has decreased to 40%.
Buying gas from Egypt above the international price
Regarding the cooking gas file, we buy it from the Egyptian side above the international price, in addition to the very high transportation cost.
And we pay a ton of gas coming from Egypt about 900 dollars, in addition to the cost of transportation to the stations.
After paying the cost of transportation, the price of the gas cylinder reaches 42 shekels, and it is sold to stations at 46 shekels. We only get 4 shekels. Upon increasing the prices, as happened recently, which led to the suspension of supply before the problem was solved, we decided that the citizen should not bear any additional amount, and we set the prices between (54-55 NIS) (the dollar 3.45 Israeli shekels).
Employee salary crisis
We hope to increase the government’s fiscal revenues, which will enable us to increase salaries and pay them completely and pay all dues to employees. The crisis started around 2009, and it worsened at the beginning of 2014. As for the total employee benefits, they are not specified, but they are generally large.