Minister of Communication, Government Spokesman interview with “Sahm Media” website; range of multi-sectoral issues tackled

ALGIERS- Minister of Communication and Government Spokesman, Ammar Belhimer, affirmed, Sunday, that the government reconsidered the legal system related to vehicles importation and assembly in order to “meet the needs” of citizens in terms of cars and establish a “real industrial base”.

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ALGIERS- Minister of Communication and Government Spokesman, Ammar Belhimer, affirmed, Sunday, that the government reconsidered the legal system related to vehicles importation and assembly in order to “meet the needs” of citizens in terms of cars and establish a “real industrial base”.

In an interview with the “Sahm Media” website, Mr. Belhimer said that the project of importing and manufacturing cars “did not run as it should in previous governments, and the experience had many effects and consequences that we are still experiencing up till now,” stressing, in this context, that the government reconsidered the legal system related to the car file, whether in terms of import or assembly, in order to “meet the citizens’ needs of cars and establish a “real industrial base based on real manufacturing and not assembly” , he added that all these measures and procedures led to “organizing” the activity of new vehicle dealers through the promulgation of the Executive Decree No. 20-227 specifying the conditions and modalities for practicing their activities.

The government spokesperson revealed that some amendments have been brought to this decree, which mainly revolve around “easing the documents” required in the file and “simplifying administrative procedures” with the aim of “accelerating the pace of studying files” by the Joint Ministerial Committee in addition to other conditions “that the dealers commit to” to be able to “ import the largest number of vehicles as soon as possible and at the lowest possible cost.

The minister also reiterated, on the occasion, that “public authorities have maintained and will maintain social support that is not less than 10 billion dollars despite the difficult circumstance pending the achievement of the economic qualitative leap which is part of the priorities of the program of the President of the Republic, Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune,” highlighting that “there are many initiatives which are being carried-out now and whose results will appear in the near future or in the medium term. ”He pointed out that Algeria, like many countries,“ has gone through an economic crisis resulting from Coronavirus pandemic and the fall of oil prices. ”

Belhimer explained that “solutions will be purely economic” through “strengthening and diversifying the national economy and raising the purchasing power of the citizen,” highlighting in this context that the Ministry of Industry is working in “cooperation and consultation” with experts on preparing the final version of the new investment bill with the aim of “creating a more adequate working environment which provides investment opportunities in an appropriate environment dominated by confidence among all dealers.

With regard to the file of producing Sputnik V vaccine in Algeria, the minister stated that “efforts are continuing to provide the vaccine next September, as previously announced to meet the new challenge announced by the President of the Republic to achieve health sovereignty,” highlighting that the Ministry of Pharmaceutical Industry “has taken all necessary measures to facilitate the implementation of the Sputnik vaccine production project, and it is – he added – in “constant contact with several international laboratories.”

As for the housing file, Mr. Belhimer considered that “it is an exaggeration to carry on talking about the housing crisis” after all the housing “achievements” made during the five-year consecutive programs and which culminated in the “completion of 4.6 million housing units” of which approximately 4 million have been created within the framework of public formulas, stressing that as part of the five-year program 2020-2024, work is underway to “achieve one million housing units in various formulas” with “focus on the state’s contribution to granting subsidies” for housing construction, in addition to the new formula that aims to “strengthen the rental market by launching a formula of promotional rental housing LLP.

In figures, the minister said that this “important housing program consists in the launching of 200,000 public rental housing units, including the program devoted to the elimination of precarious housing,” as well as the subsidized housing formula, which includes 70,000 housing units, which falls within the framework of “encouraging” formulas that ” reduce the state involvement” in the construction process, as for the promotional rental housing “it includes 40,000 housing units”, it is “a new formula that is part of the development and organization of the rental real estate market in response to the needs of the population movement, as well as to “encourage the sector to participate more actively in the process of providing housing” in addition to 40,000 housing units of the rental sale formula.

As for rural housing, it received – according to the same official – “the share of 400,000 rural housing units in the form of construction subsidies” in addition to “250,000 fully-developed social units” as part of the state’s offer, which is supported by aid for housing development in the provinces of the south and the high plateaus.

Regarding the energy file, the minister revealed that Algeria “has a production capacity to produce electricity from renewable energies of about 500 megawatts,” which is “much less than the potential Algeria has.” However, he went on to say, it “allowed to gain experience in establishing this type of project” and define the legal, administrative and financial limitations that hinder the development of renewable energies. Among the“limitations that must be removed”- according to him – are those associated with reserving plots of land to accommodate projects, and which must be carefully selected, especially with regard to its proximity to the national electricity grid in order to facilitate their connection. ”

Belhimer mentioned, in this respect, that the multi-year program to develop renewable energies and energy efficiency, which was adopted by the government in February 2020, sets “the goal of achieving 15,000 megawatts by 2035.”

He also explained in another context that the mechanism in place today for framing the parallel financial market is “Islamic banking in order to “absorb cash” in parallel with “encouraging dealing with banking mechanisms,” stressing that the government “prefers to resort to economic logic instead of administrative and bureaucratic logic to address the phenomenon of the institution of the Algerian national economy.”

In the field of electronic journalism, the minister reiterated that his ministry’s services “aim to reach at least 100 websites hosted in Algeria with the extension of the .dz domain name.” As for the support mechanisms that these websites will benefit from, he explained that “indirect support through the National Publishing, Communication and Advertising Agency is very likely pending the promulgation of the law on advertising” and “the amendment of some laws related to the modalities for publishing public advertisements”, and “the activation of the press support fund would contribute strongly in supporting” these sites.

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