C'tee transfer NIS 15.7b in 'owed surpluses' from 2012 to 2013 budget

Knesset Finance Committee approves "owed surplus" funds, monies for long-term projects.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
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 operations.”
Unlike other transfers, such as unutilized funds that are returned to the Treasury, owed surpluses were owed to specific projects, he said.
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.