Knesset Committee Approves $15,000,000 for Employment Projects

The immediate expenditure of $45,000,000 pounds ($15,000,000) for employment projects to provide jobs in Israel’s heavy unemployment was approved yesterday by the Finance Committee of Israel’s Parliament. Twenty-five million pounds ($8,333,000) will be spent on road development and the remainder on water supply projects, hospitals and government building.

The committee also decided to pick up $32,000,000 in foreign debts of Rassco and repay them in pounds. Rassco invests in construction projects and housing developments. The total debt of the company in local currency, which must be taken up to keep the firm solvent, is estimated at 56,000,000 pounds ($18,600,000).

Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir told Parliament tonight that the Ellern Bank, one of two taken over by the Israel State Bank after shortcomings were found in the records of the banks, still had not been sold. The Finance Minister said that a Canadian businessman, Ben Dunkelman had withdrawn his offer and that two Israeli bidders — the General Workers Bank and the Manufacturers Association — had made offers which were considered inadequate. The Minister denied reports that the Ellern Bank would be permanently managed by the State Bank.

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