JERUSALEM (Jul. 15)
Moshe Sandberg, economic advisor to the Finance Minister who has been designated to succeed David Horowitz as Governor of the Bank of Israel, declared on a radio interview last night that new taxes are urgently needed during the current fiscal year. Sandberg said an information drive should be launched immediately to convince the public and leaders of the Knesset and Histadrut of the immediacy of the need. A study of the Bank of Israel’s monthly balance sheets revealed that the Treasury was overdrawn by more than $350 million at the end of the first quarter. Last month’s balance sheet, published yesterday, showed a rise of $13.5 million in Israel’s foreign exchange reserve to a level of $402 million. The Government’s debt to the Central Bank increased by $98 million.
Sandberg, 45, who has been Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir’s aide for many years, was recommended by the Cabinet Monday for the Bank of Israel post. According to Israeli law, President Zalman Shazar will make the appointment at the Cabinet’s recommendation, effective Nov. 1, 1971. The appointee, who was born in Hungary and spent two years in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II, settled in Israel in 1948 and joined the civil service ten years later. He has since served as deputy head of the State Revenues Administration, budget director at the Treasury and chairman of the Industrial Development Bank.
In another economic area it was announced today that American firms are buying more Israeli-made goods, chiefly fashions, for sale in the U.S. and at American outlets abroad. Among the buyers are the department store giants, Macy’s, Gimbels and Saks. Statistics released today showed that in 1968, major American buyers purchased $2.85 million worth of Israeli articles of which one quarter was intended for sale outside of the U.S. In 1970, the dollar value of American purchases in Israel was $6.40 million of which two thirds was for customers in the U.S. It was announced yesterday that sales abroad of Israeli polished diamonds rose 50 percent during June, boosting by 27 percent the increase in polished diamond exports for the first half of this year as compared to the same period in 1970. The Israeli Diamonds Institutes said sales of polished diamonds from January to June netted $126.5 million. June exports amounted to $23 million.