Gaza – special juice
The Palestinian Authority has reached historic levels of public debt this year, driven by Israeli occupation measures and weak international aid, along with “mismanagement and planning,” according to specialists.
Although the policies of the previous Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu deepened the government’s financial crisis, the mismanagement and planning indicated by the oversight institutions exacerbated its financial problems.
The financial crisis has intensified on the government in light of the lack of revenue due to Corona, the lack of assistance during the era of former US President Donald Trump, and the inability of local banks to continue lending, which it resulted in an Israeli financial loan of $ 156 million.
A source in the Ministry of Finance in Ramallah says the laxity of debt is due to the large expenses incurred by the government, which is increasing month after month in the financial statements.
The source claims, in an interview with the “Safa” agency, that spending is increasing and that there are no austerity plans despite the stifling financial crisis and the recourse to loans from banks, the private sector and other parties.
He points out that “the absence of planning and mismanagement exacerbates matters and doubles the debt in the absence of a development vision.”
On the other hand, the academic at An-Najah University, Nael Moussa, believes that controlling the financial situation of the government and stopping the inflation of debt requires a wise management that “knows how to make the money he spend, direct and earnestly work on austerity. as required. “
Moussa said in an interview with the “Safa” agency: “For example, when we hear of a large budget for the president’s office in the face of a stormy financial crisis, it requires planning to move the corridors of power with manage minimal expenses. “
He added, “If we find inflation in the spending, privileges and gifts granted to senior employees, it is natural to see an inflation in public debt, which represents one of the aspects of corruption. “
On aid and grants, he said: “The donor is only interested in the political system, and he knows very well that there is corruption in the disbursement of this money, but as long as the money is political and serves the purpose for which it was sent, he does not care much about looking for corruption and aspects of exchange. ”
He pointed out that much of the European Union’s money now goes to civil society institutions and not to the Palestinian Authority, “after much talk about financial corruption reports in the corridors of government and government.”
The author and economic analyst, Jaafar Sadaqah, stressed that the main problem is the “disorganized” debt of the overdue companies in the private sector and the Retirement and Pension Authority and other random debt.
Sadaqah said in an interview with “Safa” Agency: “The irregular debt represents a much greater risk than the regular debt of foreign banks or international institutions, as it poses major problems such as the dismissal of employees and the closure of companies in the case of non-payment of debt. “
He added, “No one denies the existence of corruption in the corridors of power, but I think the measures of the occupation and the lack of planning for funds are the most, and there is no doubt that this is one of the aspects of corruption. “
Sadaqah agrees with its predecessor that mismanagement is one of the aspects of rising debt, and stresses the need to create a development environment that compensates for the lack of aid and grants.
And he talked about the loans obtained by the government, emphasizing that it did not handle the processing of loans from banks and the private sector in an optimal way, “which led us to the inability of the banks to repay any loans to the authority, despite the presence of good liquidity so far in the banks. “
In recent years, local and international institutions have issued a number of reports indicating the presence of “corruption” in the power corridors, calling for radical reforms to be implemented to stop “corruption” and reduce debt.
According to government debt figures released by the Ministry of Finance in Ramallah, the government debt amounted to $ 4.6 billion, not including the government’s accumulated arrears.
According to the 13th annual report of the Coalition for Integrity and Accountability – AMAN on the reality of integrity and the fight against corruption; The year 2020 witnessed a decline in the integrity of management.
The report pointed out that one of the reasons for the decline in the integrity of management was the failure to disclose the resources and characteristics of politicians exposed to corruption, and the weakness of policies related to the allocation and management of state resources, including the failure to issue a competition law and the prevention of monopolies.
He pointed out that among the most common forms of corruption are nepotism, nepotism, grafting, misuse of credit, compromise of public money, job investment, embezzlement, non-disclosure of conflicts of interest and money laundering.
He pointed out that the number of complaints and communications received by the Anti-Corruption Commission during 2020 amounted to 1,115, while in 2019 there were a total of 545.
With regard to the professional categories most accused of corruption, the number of complaints and communications the government received about higher categories reached 137, of which 34 are first categories, and 93 higher categories, including judges and members of the Public Prosecution, 10 ministers or ministerial rank.
He pointed out that the government had not implemented the public money management strategy according to the plan, nor the details of the emergency budget that had been announced and its law published in the Government Gazette.
The report emphasized that “the efforts to combat money laundering crime in Palestine remain unclear, due to the National Anti – Money Laundering Committee’s secrecy over its work, and its failure to publish any significant reports, data or statistics, on the scope. of the spread of this crime and the money obtained from it. ”
He said that “the government has refrained from disclosing and publishing the documents of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, with the continuing decline in the transparency of the general budget, and the failure of the Ministry of Finance to finalize the final bill. reach according to the legal time frame. “