Sheshinski and Steinitz 311 .
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Knesset Finance Committee on Wednesday began discussing the Sheshinski
Committee’s recommendations for increasing government royalties on oil and gas
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Sheshinski committee chairman
Prof. Eytan Sheshinski, Israel Tax Authority director-general Yehuda
Nasradishi, Finance Ministry director-general Haim Shani, National Economics
Council chairman Eugene Kandel, Knesset Economic Affairs Committee chairman
Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud) were among those attending the session.
the start of the meeting, Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni (United Torah
Judaism) thanked Steinitz for coming to the discussion.
has taken the Israeli public by storm,” he said. “People have invested a lot of
money to find gas, and we thank G-d that gas was found, because it puts Israel
in a different position. Conditions are already good, but this puts us in a
different position in the coming years, and the importance of the matter is
very, very important.”
“My position is that this resource belongs to the
country’s citizens,” Gafni said. “However, we must not harm those who invested
their money and initiated the exploration.”
Steinitz reviewed at length
the preliminary research that the Finance Ministry conducted before it appointed
the Sheshinski Committee and the recommendations were published.
results astounded me at first,” he said. “We discovered that Israel’s tax rate
on its natural resources is among the lowest in the world, which is why we
decided to appoint a serious expert committee on the issue to normalize Israel’s
condition to that of other countries.”
Comparing the situation in Israel
to that of other countries, Steinitz said, “It is immoral that Israel’s
residents should not benefit from their oil and gas, because this would mean
that, as of 2016, beyond a company tax of 18 percent, there is essentially
There are royalties, but they are almost completely offset
because of the odd clause, which exists only in Israel, and is called the