Protest harms private sector

By Fuad Al-Qadhi

President of the Chamber of Commerce has said that in the capital’s private sector, losses have accrued of more than 350 million riyals due to protests in there.

The strikes’ bill, in both Tahrir Square and The Change Square in front of Sana`a University, has been devastating for local businesses.

The Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mr. Muhammad Muhammad Salah said that many traders had filed complaints to the Chamber of Commerce calling for the lifting of demonstrations saying that they violated the peoples’ interests.

He added that the private sector incurred significant losses in these unfortunate events experienced by the national scene, due to the political differences that went beyond the reasonable limits of the democratic framework, which led to chaos and violence and to undermine security and stability.

He expressed the rejection of the private sector to the ongoing political conflict, which he described as totally exceptional.

Mr. Salah said that the loss came with the decline in the percentage of sales dramatically for the shops located near the squares of the protests, as well as the cost of rents and salaries for employees and workers in these stores and companies.

He noted that, especially since the university is located near some of the money exchangers and branches of some commercial and Islamic banks, and Tahrir is located at the entrance to Jamal Street, which is one of the main commercial streets in Yemen, particularly in terms of gold and jewelry shops.

Meanwhile, Salah said, “state revenues will fall dramatically, through income tax and costums, due to dwindling imports during this period, which will be reflected in government revenue in general.

“This will exacerbate the financial deficit for the general budget of the State, which is currently experiencing a large deficit because of the recent reforms implemented by the State through the strategy for wages and salaries and the third phase of annual increments and social welfare benefits to new situations and the consideration of fifty thousand degrees and careers in the fiscal year 2011, amounting to 249 billion and 413 million riyals.”

He explained that the strategy of wages and salaries of phase III reached 113 billion and 991 million riyals, and annual increments reached 87 billion and 94 million riyals, with total social welfare payments for new cases was 22 billion riyals, and comprehending 25 percent of graduates to reach a total of 50 thousand employment degrees, and 26 billion and 365 million riyals.

On the other hand, he said, “Although these protests have consequences, there have not been any hikes in prices, thanks to coordination between the Chambers of Commerce and the Ministry of Industry and local councils” said Salah.

In that context, reports stated remarkable effects and big losses, which have not yet been calculated, in the real estate investments in Yemen, especially in the economic capital of Aden and Mukalla city as these cities are considered to be the center of real estate market in the country.

According to initial reports, the loss of real estate has been the most serious, which was observed to increase its the pace of decline in the protests in residential sales, as well as through fear of customers to lose money, and holding them back from paying the monthly premiums for their residential apartments.

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