Environmental protection minister calls to drop environmental fees on industries

Environmental protection minister Avi Gabay on Thursday called for abolishing environmental fees on industries to help boost their productivity.
"I don't believe in fees. Industries are already suffering from payments that are levied on them without justification," he said at meeting of industrialists in Eilat.
The fees are applicable to businesses that avail themselves of port services, based on a 1983 law.
At the same conference, Prime Minister's Office General Director Eli Groner promised that the government would seek to make life easier for businesses.
"In recent years we are witnessing a new worldview on the relationship between the government and private sector. Some people in the public sphere no longer see the government and private sector as partners in the journey of increasing the size of the pie, the GDP," he said in a veiled allusion to opposition parties on the left.
Such people, he said, saw the economy as a zero-sum game, where one person's win is the other's loss.
The government, he continued, acknowledges the problem of bureaucracy and regulation. While it must strike be a balance with the public interest, he continued, the government would work to bring down the burden of red tape.
MK Roy Folkman (Kulanu), the chairman of the industrial lobby, said that Israeli industry needed to focus on exports if they wanted to be more competitive. He estimated that 92% of the factories in the Galilee were not exporters, and "where there is no export, there is no innovation and no high productivity."
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