Jan. 12, 2012 (ASMARA) — In a cabinet meeting held at the capital, Eritrean officials approved a number of large-scale development projects for the 2012 fiscal year.
In keeping in-line with its 5-year development strategy, the ministers had taking into consideration the nation’s current socio-economic inequalities, housing shortages, and the impact of rising commodity prices.
According to state media, the majority of the budget focuses on infrastructure building, food security, renewable energy, health, education and poverty reduction. Some of the major infrastructure developments in store include large housing development, expansion of Eritrean rail system, modernizing Eritrea's airport, and renovation of Asmara's historic perimeters.
What separates this year's fiscal budget from previous ones is the prominence officials have have given to expanding the private sector. By allocating enough funds and passing new legislation, officials aim to encourage and grow private entrepreneurship.
Recognizing the impact of rising fuel and food prices, the budget has also allocated large sums of funds to minimize the impact on ordinary citizens by expanding social services and increasing domestic production of commonly imported goods. Moreover, to decrease dependence on fossil fuel, investments in alternative and renewable clean energy such as solar and wind will get a priority.
With a red-hot economy that seen its GDP growth accelerate to 17 percent in 2011, the Red Sea state will strive for a more broad-based economic growth in 2012. Despite imported commodity prices remaining high, the country expects the economy to grow by 7-10 percent this fiscal year.
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