Finally, after 10 years of deliberations, the government has agreed on the wording of a new Bank of Israel Law that would transfer responsibility for setting interest rates from the central bank governor alone to a monetary committee.
However, in contrast to earlier proposals, the monetary committee and monetary council would include no political representatives, thereby preserving the independent role of the Bank of Israel.
The second major change is in the committee minutes. The bill proposes that the minutes regarding the interest rates become public two weeks after the monthly meeting, as is the case with the Bank of England.
In addition, the new law outlines the main objective of the Bank of Israel: price stability. But it then adds that the bank will define other goals, which it will try to achieve without compromising its main objective. This is close to the central bank's position.
The new bill reflects the closeness between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, acting Finance Minister Ehud Olmert and Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer.
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