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Israel’s Development Budget Passes First Reading in Parliament

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The Israel Parliament today passed its first reading of the 115,000,000 pound development budget. This budget, which is in addition to the normal budget of 168,000,000 pounds, is expected to pass its second and final readings tomorrow.

Income is expected from three main sources: 40,000,000 pounds from the sale of Israeli bonds in the United States; 35,000,000 pounds from the compulsory national loan and the levy on capital; and, 40,000,000 pounds from the sale of government-owned real estate by the development authority and from sums set aside in the normal budget.

The budget calls for the expenditure of over 35,000,000 pounds for agriculture, including: the establishment of new farming settlement, local and regional irrigation projects, loans to tobacco and citrus fruit growers, fishing and afforestation projects and similar work. Over 25,000,000 will be spent for industry, including the expenditure of 5,500,000 pounds for expansion of electric power facilities. Another 12,000,000 pounds will be spent for communications projects, including 2,000,000 pounds for the extension of the existing rail line to Beersheba. Finally, 20,000,000 pounds will be devoted to housing.

After hearing an urgent request for development funds by Finance Minister Levi Eshkol, the Knesset voted to advance 18,000,000 pounds for development purposes.

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