Industry and Trade Dreams of Expansion

The Finance Ministry is proposing to cut out 25 of 54 positions in the Industry and Trade Ministry's investment and high-tech administrations. The reason for the drastic cut is the dramatic reduction in the roles of these departments with the transfer of responsibility for investors' tax benefits to the treasury's tax department. Under the law mandating that change, the treasury added 30 staff positions, and so it wants a requisite cut at Industry and Trade.

The treasury also wants to cut Industry and Trade's base budget by NIS 15 million for next year. "In light of economic recovery, the need for supporting industry has decreased, while in contrast, the need to reallocate resources for funding various plans according to the government's priorities has strengthened", the treasury noted.

For its part, Industry and Trade is proposing a NIS 1.14 billion increase in its budget. Some NIS 700 million would be designated for its investment center, NIS 150 million would go to professional training, NIS 69 million toward integrating single parents into the work force, NIS 50 million for employment in the Negev, NIS 40 million for a high-tech park in Be'er Sheva, NIS 30 million for strengthening its foreign trade administration and NIS 23 million for small businesses.