Damascus, SANA – The Balance and Accounts Committee of the People’s Assembly discussed in a session on Sunday the budget of the Tourism Ministry for the fiscal year 2015.
The budget allocated for the Ministry has been set at SYP 313,300 million, out of the SYP 1.554 billion state’s general budget whose bill was referred to the Committee for discussion last Thursday.
Minister of Tourism Bishr Yazigi said the Ministry’s focus in the coming period will be placed on activating low-cost domestic tourism through securing free of charge open areas and beaches to attract people of all spectra.
The plan also includes setting up rural and religious tourism programs.
The Minister noted that some “secure areas” to which stability and security were restored after terrorists were expelled will be in focus as “extraordinary” steps will be taken to encourage and attract the private sector and local and foreign investors to contribute to stimulating the tourism movement with the state not having to incur too much financial burden.
Yazigi also outlined a plan to open an office at the Ministry that will be charged with finding job opportunities for and employing graduates of the Faculty of Tourism and tourism and hotel institutes, schools and centers.
A joint committee of the ministries of Tourism and Finance will be formed to assess the losses and damage caused to tourism facilities due to the acts of vandalism by the terrorists, the Minister noted.
He further added that the damaged facilities will receive help in the form of small loans for re-operating them.
Yazigi stressed that SYP 175 million of the total budget set for the Ministry will be allocated for getting the investment plan implemented. This will mainly include completing the construction of tourism education centers.
The remaining amount of money will go for promotion-related program and activities and the commissions in charge of tourism work.
Justice Minister Najm Hamad al-Ahmad said there is an increase in the coming year’s budget over past years, which he said is needed for meeting judicial reform demands and implementing the projects of the investment plan.
There is an “ambitious” plan to tackle the repercussions of the current crisis in the country under the terrorist war waged against it, he said.
Within this plan, he added, extraordinary measures will be taken for restoring terrorism-hit justice palaces and the work for updating and developing legislations as well as establishing the necessary infrastructure to accomplish the project of automating the administrative judicial system within the reform plan.