"Government has begun to implement reforms in spite of lack of political support" (Chahed)
07/12/2018 16:40, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) -The government has begun to implement reforms in spite of the lack of political support, said Friday in Sousse, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.

Kicking off the 33rd Days of the Enterprise organised December 7-8, he indicated that "this approach has reduced the budget deficit rate from 7.4% in 2016 to 4.9% in 2018, in spite of the change of several factors including the rise in hydrocarbon prices. The growth rate also edged up from 0.6% in 2016 to 2.8% in 2018 (second quarter)."

He reiterated keenness to curb the budget deficit, recalling that the 2019 Finance Law (FL) targets the reduction of the State budget deficit to 3.9% by the end of 2019.

"The 2019 FL does not include new taxes on businesses and individuals, but instead provides incentives to start up businesses and jobs, including the exemption of newly created enterprises."

The PM said that he had given instructions to draft a bill to remove all the obstacles created by the legal system in force, in order to improve the business climate. The draft bill will be submitted to the parliament in the first quarter of 2019.

Chahed spoke about the ongoing development of the new exchange code and a draft law on currency exchange offenses.

"De-cashing will start in 2019. Digital transformation is one of our priorities in 2019, making life easier for people, fighting corruption and improving tax collection."

Chahed indicated that the impetus for growth and investment is inherent to the implementation of the solidarity enterprise program, helping job-seekers in interior regions and disadvantaged categories to start businesses.

He further assured that the law on the status of self-employed will be among the priorities of the government to move from informal work to organised work.

Youssef Chahed pointed out that the current government and previous governments have not received real political support for reform in a political context in which populism and accusations of treachery prevail.

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