Finance Minister Yair Lapid 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Knesset Finance Committee on Tuesday approved transferring NIS 15.7 billion
in “owed surplus” funds, monies for long-term projects promised in the 2012
budget, to the 2013 budget.
When long-term projects such as road
construction are approved, payments to contractors and third-party suppliers are
paid out based on certain milestones as the projects progress, Finance Ministry
deputy budget director Yael Mevorach said Tuesday.
The owed surplus funds
approved on Tuesday had been designated in the past, but not yet paid out,
meaning they had to be added to the 2013 budget. Some 9 percent of budget funds
are for multiyear projects, she said.
Finance Committee chairman Nissan
Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) supported the move “because we want to let the
ministries work properly and prevent delays in routine
Unlike other transfers, such as unutilized funds that are
returned to the Treasury, owed surpluses were owed to specific projects, he
In a day of marathon meetings, the committee also made several
other noteworthy decisions.
It approved a NIS 100 million loan to Israel
Military Industries due to delays in privatizing the industry. The money will be
used to help pay salaries and finance its continued operation in the near
future. After the holidays, the committee would demand explanations for the
delays, Slomiansky said.
Deputy managing director of government companies
Meir Shamra seemed to imply that the roughly NIS 2b. in prior loans would not be
returned to the state.
The committee also approved new tax benefits for
64 nonprofit organizations and agreed that people with NIS 7,000 or less in
provident funds would be allowed to withdraw the money tax free for the next
year and a half.