Benjamin Netanyahu - Emil Salman - 19092011
Benjamin Netanyahu Photo by Emil Salman
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The committee examining economic concentration in the Israeli economy is expected to release its long-awaited interim report today at 12:30 P.M., 11 months after the committee was established.

The committee, headed by former director general of the Finance Ministry Haim Shani, will present their report on what to do to reduce economic concentration to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz this morning at about 11 A.M., before releasing it to the public.

The recommendations, if enacted, would bring about a significant change in the structure of the Israeli economy.

They will include ways of reducing the economic power concentrated in the hands of a small number of families, separate control of financial and real estate holdings, and limit the power of business groups that control a pyramids of subsidiaries.

The committee will now hold hearings over the next 30 days for public comment, including hearing from those who will be affected by their recommendations.

One recommendation that was originally considered, but the committee did not propose in the end, is to tax dividends paid by various companies within a large business group or conglomerate organized as a pyramid.

But the economic concentration committee will also recommend that shareholders approve the salaries and conditions of the five highest wage earners in such pyramidical firms.

Trajtenberg committee takes on competition too

The Trajtenberg committee on socioeconomic change will most likely recommend a number of dramatic changes as well. The subcommittee on increasing competition in the Israeli economy is considering a number of new regulations to fight monopolies and overconcentration.

The committee wants to cancel a long list of laws, customs duties and quotas, regulations and fees - all with the intent of breaking down the barriers to imports.

Other proposals affect a number of sectors that have a direct effect on consumers' wallets, including in freeing up state-owned land, along with industries such as cement, food, fuel, cars, banking, credit cards and the ports.

Reforms will not require almost any new spending, but could drastically reduce the cost of living for most Israelis.