RAMALLAH, April 12 (JMCC) - Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas
approved Sunday the Palestinian budget law, estimated at $3.8 billion.
The full budget law, obtained by JMCC.org, allocates more money to development projects than any budget since the creation of the Palestinian Authority
The budget allocates resources to the project of building the Palestinian state despite the presence of the occupation, spending $670 million -- a rise of six percent from last year -- on infrastructure projects and projects building Palestinian institutions.
The budget also seeks to continue 2009 trends of reducing dependence on external funding and working to raise local revenues by 20 percent in order to cover 65 percent of expenses. Local revenue from income taxes is expected to increase by 58 percent, and VAT revenues by 35 percent with ongoing recovery in various economic sectors.
The Palestinian economy
has seen significant growth this year, largely due to the lifting of several Israeli military checkpoints and other confidence-building measures.
The budget allocates $3.16 billion for the Gaza Strip
, and also increases allocations for the social sector by three percent to 42 percent as compared with last year.
According to a source in the president's office, the budget also allocates additional resources for the Palestinian judiciary and strengthening citizens' 'steadfastness', especially in Jerusalem
and areas affected by settlements
and the Wall
, and to support prisoners and their families, as well as implementing an ambitious reform program for the preparation of independent state institutions.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
adopted last year a plan to establish a Palestinian state in two years by building the institutions of a Palestinian state despite the presence of the Israeli military occupation.
Fayyad has since stated on several occasions that Palestinians will be ready to declare their state on areas occupied by Israel in 2012 and if Israel refuses to recognize the state, Palestinians will appeal to the United Nations and international community.