(photo credit: AP)
Since the Finance Ministry rejected the National Infrastructures Ministry’s
request for a substantial increase in its operations budget late last week,
several major projects won’t be launched, the latter ministry’s spokesman told
The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
These projects include energy efficiency
improvement and earthquake preparation.
Defense budget cut by NIS 2.7 billion
protests budget cuts, requests NIS 55
While Finance Minister Yuval
Steinitz and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Israel Beiteinu) met late
Tuesday night to discuss the budgets of Israel Beiteinu-headed ministries – of
which the National Infrastructures Ministry is one – the meeting did not
generate any specific changes to the budget as yet, National Infrastructures
Minister Uzi Landau’s spokesman Chen Ben-Lulu said Wednesday.
ministry’s operations budget, sans employee salaries, was NIS 12 million in
2010, with a one-time addition of NIS 68m.
The ministry had requested
that it be increased to NIS 224m. to develop the energy market.
to a breakdown supplied by ministry spokeswoman Maya Etzioni, NIS 25m.
that sum would be for planning how to absorb the natural gas that will be
streaming in from off-shore gas deposits in a few years. Another NIS
would be used to implement the recommendations of the
interministerial steering committee on earthquakes.
NIS 42m. would be
needed to implement the ministry’s energy efficiency plan, which aims to
electricity demand by 20 percent by 2020. Energy and alternative energy
and development would need NIS 63m., and another NIS 12m. would be
statutory planning relating to natural gas and cooking gas. The last NIS
would be used for the ministry’s oil and quarries unit, Gas
Electricity Administration and more.
However, the Finance Ministry
decided to leave the operations budget at NIS 12m. for 2011 and 2012.
a result, the above-mentioned projects will be unable to be implemented
since only the earthquake preparedness plan was even budgeted in the
operations budget – at a mere NIS 1.5m., according to Etzioni.
budget negotiations have not yet been finalized, so changes may still be