The Cabinet approved PM Netanyahu’s NIS 660 million proposal for the economic development of communities in the minorities sector in 2015.
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
The Cabinet, at its weekly meeting today (Sunday, 21 December 2014), approved Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approximately NIS 660 million proposal for the economic development of communities in the minorities sector in 2015. The inter-ministerial plan involves the Finance, National Infrastructures, Transportation and Road Safety, Public Security, Tourism, Negev and Galilee Development, Construction, Interior, Education and Economy ministries.
Following are the main points of the plan:
Increasing transport accessibility via investments in transportation infrastructure – Increasing subsidies for public transportation in minorities sector communities, NIS 120 million for completing public transportation infrastructures and improving the accessibility of information in Arabic. Additionally, approximately NIS 300 million will be invested in improving inter-city roads and intra-city roads in minorities sector communities.
Economic-employment development – NIS 40 million will be invested in completing the development of industrial zones in minorities sector communities that are ready for immediate implementation, and in operating a plan to integrate minorities sector communities and industrial zones. NIS 8 million will be invested in training for in-demand professions. The Chief scientist will increase grants – from 50% to 85%, worth NIS 5 million – for start-up companies that employ workers from minority communities.
Tourist infrastructure development – Tourist infrastructures will be developed in minorities sector communities and a plan will be formulated to encourage tourism initiatives in the Old City of Nazareth, the largest Arab city in Israel, the tourist sites of which are a global historic and religious center of Christian pilgrimage. NIS 15-25 million in assistance will also be given for completing the construction of sports fields and facilities in minorities sector communities.
Personal security – City-without-violence and anti-drugs activities and plans will continue, and two police installations will be opened, at a cost of approximately NIS 70 million, NIS 100 million will be invested in infrastructure improvements.
Two director generals committees will be established – The first, chaired by Interior Ministry Director-General Shuki Amrani, will formulate a plan on increasing independent revenues by minorities sector local councils. The second, chaired by Finance Ministry Budget Director Amir Levy, will formulate construction and housing solutions.
The previous five-year plan, which concludes at the end of the month, met needs in 13 minorities sector communities. The plan had positive results in fields such as public transportation, employment, personal security and planning, and helped to instill in government ministries the understanding that the minorities sector is a gigantic growth engine.
Upon the completion of the five-year plan and in light of the lessons of its implementation, the Cabinet has approved a greater and more comprehensive five-year plan for all communities in the Arab sector which will be submitted for Cabinet approval within 120 days. It is the product of staff work over the past year. Its main points were agreed upon by Prime Minister’s Office director General Harel Locker, Finance Ministry Budget Director Levy and PMO Authority for the Economic Development of the Arab, Druze and Circassian Sectors Director Aiman Seif in conjunction with the director generals of the relevant ministries.