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Abbas approves PNA budget

March 30, 2013 at 1:35 PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, March 30 (UPI) -- Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Saturday approved a $3.8 billion budget for 2013, officials said.

The budget, approved Thursday by the PNA cabinet, required Abbas' approval by the end of the month, Ma'an News Agency reported.

Hassan al-Ouri, a legal adviser, said Abbas would consider feedback on the budget given by the Palestinian Legislative Council and amend the budget if necessary.

The Palestinian government expects to collect about $2.5 billion through taxes and tolls this year and another $1.4 billion through international assistance, Ma'an said.

The cabinet said it increased taxes this year because expected revenues fell short in 2012.

"It is important to highlight that the above-mentioned budget details are in line with the government fiscal policy, which aims to increase self-capabilities, hence decreasing dependence on outside assistance and the need for it, which in turn consolidates the national capability to protect our sovereign decision-making in the face of all forms of political pressure," the cabinet said in a statement.

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