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Import of Non-essential Materials Banned in Israel; Announce $70,000,000 Import Plan

The import of non-essential materials has been banned to conserve foreign exchange available to the Israeli Government for the up-building of the country, it was announced here today at the same time as were plans the Importation of some $70,000,000 worth of machinery and raw materials during 1919.

The office of the Controller of Supplies revealed that the imports will include materials for both light and heavy industry and for the chemical industry. The imports will be both materials not manufactured in this country and equipment which will be used to develop the capacity of Israel to manufacture new produces. A large pert of the imports bill will be paid out of funds made available by the U.S. Imports-Export Bank loan.

The State Council’s finance committee has ended discussions on a proposal to encourage the investment of foreign capital in Israel and has decided to grant tax exemptions to all such investors. However, the views of a special committee named by African Zionists are being awaited here before final action on the proposal is decided. It seems fairly certain, however, that the existing law which now exempts industrial equipment reaching here from all import duties will be expanded to include accessory equipment as well as machinery.

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