Parliament to Get Government’s Economic Program Next Week
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Parliament to Get Government’s Economic Program Next Week

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Legislation to implement the Israel Government’s eight-point program to deal with the country’s economic situation will be presented at the next meeting of the Knesset, the Israel Parliament, which reconvenes on October 16. A series of bills based on the Cabinet’s decisions will be introduced at that time providing measures to increase agricultural production, spur Israel’s exports, permit the import of capital in the form of goods, authorizing a public loan based on gold and permitting a local lottery and adding taxes.

A Cabinet re-shuffle, already decided upon by the government, will be announced at the same time.

Eliezer Kaplan, Finance Minister, discussing this program with the press Friday, denied that the Cabinet had decided to allow a free market in gold or would adjust the exchange value of the Israel pound, now fixed at $2.80, to the free market price.

Mr. Kaplan declared that state revenue for the first five months of the current fiscal year had reached 49,800,000 pounds ($139,440,000) of which 19,000,000 pounds ($53,200,000) had been received from taxes.

The balance of payments for the first eight months of the year, he said, reached 75,000,000 pounds ($210,000,000) of which 67,000,000 pounds ($187,000,000) represented imports in all forms. Exports during the same period totalled 12,000,000 ($33,600,000). Imports represented a 25 percent increase over the previous year, he declared.

During the first eight months of this year, Mr. Kaplan disclosed, Israel had received 31,000,000 pounds ($86,000,000) in foreign exchange, of which 16,000,000 pounds ($44,800,000) was from the national funds and the United Jewish Appeal.

Mr. Kaplan also decribed measures taken by the government to encourage private savings through investment in a “secured loan” guaranteeing repayment in the currency in which the bonds were acquired. He said he was unable to state the exact date of launching the government’s proposed billion-dollar loan since many legal problems remained to be solved.

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