Cabinet approves plan to shorten processes for construction of solar power installations and will pass second bi-annual budget.
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 26 December 2010):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"This week we will pass the second bi-annual budget. I think that this is an important milestone for the Israeli economy and I congratulate Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz who, along with me and all of the other ministers, has advanced the passage of this budget. This is a sign of stability. It is different. To a certain degree, we are forging a breakthrough for other countries and economies in that we ensuring stability and the proper functioning of government, and are thereby facilitating both the growth that is vital for the future of our society, security and prosperity. Therefore, I ask ministers to work as one to pass this budget. We know that this budget is very important in order to ensure the economic stability of the State of Israel. I tell you that other countries would like to be in Israel’s economic situation and therefore, we will pass this budget.
On 5 January 2011, at Kibbutz Beit Oren, we will hold a state ceremony to honor the memory of those who perished in the Carmel wildfire. On the first anniversary of the disaster, we will dedicate a memorial at the site. The memorial will not be on the road itself, there is no room, but it will be adjacent to it, near where the disaster occurred at Kibbutz Beit Oren. Since the wildfire, we have been busy with the rehabilitation of the communities and their residents. I must point out that the work is going well.
At the same time, we are making very good progress in establishing a national fire service authority. Finance Minister Steinitz, Interior Minister Eli Yishai and I agreed last week on a NIS 300 million budgetary supplement, including for equipment, for the Fire and Rescue Service. We are also making progress in the work of establishing an aerial firefighting force; to this end, we are allocating NIS 50 million. This force will be established quickly, via leasing. Purchasing the planes will be a longer process because it takes years to manufacture these planes, but we are also dealing with this. At the moment, we are making good progress in the process of leasing planes so that Israel will have an aerial firefighting force very soon.
Today, the Cabinet will discuss the Administration for National-Civic Service. There is a constant increase in the number of volunteers in this Service; we would like to increase this further. Our goal is that young men and women who, for whatever reason, receive an exemption from military service, or who may not even be summoned for military service, will serve in the Service. I include in this young men and women from the non-Jewish sector. I would like to thank Minister Daniel Hershkowitz for dealing with this issue constantly, seriously and quietly.
Today, the Cabinet will also discuss simplifying the processes for establishing solar energy installations in Israel, for the purpose of generating electricity. When I discuss efficiency, one must understand that there is a built-in paradox here. Ours is a sun-drenched country. Europe has snowstorms and we have sun. Similarly, ours is a technology-rich country, including in solar technology. We are among the most advanced in the world. And the paradox is that when we try to join our technology with the sun, we cannot make progress because it is very difficult to establish installations due to our bureaucracy. Today, we will put order to, and simplify, this bureaucracy so that we will be able to enjoy our relative advantage of sun and sense. This also requires sense,; I would say commonsense, to allow us to build these installations in the country."
2. Minister Daniel Hershkowitz and Administration for National-Civic Service Director, Sar-Shalom Jerbi, briefed ministers on the activities of the Administration.
3. The Cabinet approved a national plan regarding photo-voltaic installations. Click here for further details.
4. Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and Industrial Cooperation Authority Director, Bina Bar-On, briefed ministers on the ICA’s activity in recent years.