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Palestine announces austere emergency budget

Ramallah, March 30 (IANS) Palestine has announced an austere emergency budget and financial restraint on government expenses in light of shrinking revenues amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The Palestinian Authority's revenues were expected to drop significantly, but the government will remain committed to the payment of the public servant's salaries, which is one of the major governmental expenditures, Xinhua news agency quoted Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtayeh as saying at a press conference here on Sunday.

Ishtayeh said that Palestine's financial needs to face this pandemic are estimated at $120 million, which would cause the budget deficit to double, and lead to significant losses to the national economy.

“We started studying the economic effects of this crisis with the World Bank and a team of related institutions. We have also started preparing for the day after this crisis to revive the economy,” he added.

Palestine had declared a state of emergency on March 5, after cases of coronavirus were found in West Bank city of Bethlehem.

On Sunday, the Palestinian government said that the total number of coronavirus patients in its territories has reached 108.

–IANS

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