The Finance Committee approved on Sunday the allocation of NIS 703.3 million to the Prime Minister`s Office, including NIS 177.2 million to the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division, the government’s operational arm in construction and infrastructure in the West Bank and inside the Green Line.
The source of the funds is a budget surplus totaling NIS 703 million that was carried over from 2013 to 2014.
The transfer includes NIS 29M to complete the handling of evacuees from Gush Katif in Gaza; NIS 188.3M for the PMO; NIS 20.5M for the Central Bureau of Statistics; NIS 3.53M for the regulation of Bedouin settlement in the Negev; NIS 4M for the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee for Earthquake Preparedness; NIS 4.1M for the Authority for the Economic Development of the Arab Sector; NIS 8.5M for the State Archives; and NIS 12M to support commemorative organizations.
The NIS 177.2M that will be funneled to the Settlement Division will be divided as follows: NIS 24M for the Negev sector; NIS 22.5M for the northern sector; NIS 64.4M for the central sector (including the Jordan Valley, Megilot, Mehola, and Beit El; NIS 26M of this sum will be allocated for the evacuation of the Ulpana outpost in the settlement of Beit El); NIS 8.5M for the southern district and Mount Hebron; NIS 14M for the rebuilding of infrastructure in rural communities throughout the country; NIS 13M for student villages; NIS 1.5M for immigration absorption; NIS 13M for settlement groups; and NIS 3M for Gush Katif evacuees.
MK Eliezer Stern (Hatenua) complained that the transfer of funds to the PMO ”includes so many different fields. It seems as though they are trying to distort our vision.”
Finance Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (HaBayit HaYehudi) said in response: ”We are talking about committed surpluses, which were already approved by the committee last year for the 2013 budget, so there is no reason to reopen the debate about them. The ministries committed to multiyear projects used up the initial budget, and are now due to continue the projects.”