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Sapir Denies Government Waste

Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir lashed out at Gahal chief Menahem Beigin in the Knesset Finance Committee yesterday for his allegations that State corporations had wasted IL 2 billion of the taxpayers’ money Sapir said 41 of the 51 State corporations which conducted commercial transactions ended the last fiscal year with a combined total profit of IL 205 million. The other ten firms lost IL 19 million, he said.

Sapir said shortcomings could be found in State corporations and there was always room for improvement, but by and large they were satisfactory.

He warned private building contractors that unless they kept their commitment to cut down construction by some 14 percent this year the government would consider gazetting orders to compel them to do so. He added that if disaster hit the building industry again, as it did in 1965, the government would not step in to save it as it did at that time.

Bank of Israel Governor Moshe Zanbar told the Knesset Economic Committee he convinced the Cabinet to allow raising of bank interest even during the 90-day price freeze. This was necessary, he said, because credit in Israel was too cheap and it encouraged establishment of enterprises which lack economic justification. Zanbar also supported cost of living increases to be paid in July. “Although it is an inflationary measure,’ he said, “the workers should not suffer for the recent price hike.”

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