Israel Needs 400,000,000-pound Budget for Economic Growth

Israel needs a budget of 400,000,000 Israeli pounds for economic development, instead of the 200,000,000 pounds approved recently by its Parliament, Levi Eshkol, Finance Minister, insisted today.

Mr. Eshkol had previously asked for the 400,000,000-pound budget. Today, he told the Central Council of the Mapai Party, which met here, that dependence on private investments for the country’s development is not sufficient. Israel, he said, “is in great need of private investment,” but use of its own national resources is preferable. He told his party that the country will have to make great efforts to increase its exports and thus lessen the present gap in its economic balance, caused by heavy expenditures upon imports.

Prime Minister Moshe Sharett backed the Finance Minister, calling upon the party to help the country exploit all its own resources to the utmost. He told the Council that the country’s economic needs are fourfold: 1. More planning; 2. Increased production; 3. Economy and 4. Increased halutziut.

The Council adopted a program which it said aimed at earliest achievement of economic independence for the country. The program calls for more State development of the economy; increasing settlement of the population on the land; changing the structure of the Israeli society by moving more professionals into agricultural and industrial work; balancing exports against imports and balancing debt payments; prevention of unemployment and solving the present unemployment situation through productive methods.

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