Date: Friday, 10 February 2017
http://www.shabait.com/news/local-news/23419--cabinet-of-ministers-holds-meeting Cabinet of Ministers Holds Meeting Friday, 10 February 2017 13:02 Asmara, The Eritrean Cabinet of Ministers held a two-day regular meeting in the port city of Massawa. In the opening session, President Isaias Afwerki presented budgetary priorities for 2017. In a paper he presented on Wednesday, the President pointed out that budget allocation for this year features among the priorities of the main national programs. President Isaias gave extensive briefing regarding the ongoing salary increment, supply and sustainability of basic consumer goods, provision of adequate and reliable power supply, improving the supply of potable water to villages, cities and semi-urban centers both in quantity and quality, provision of educational and health services, ensuring macro-economic stability, efforts to narrow the gap between import and export, effective tax collection, restructuring government institutions as well as strengthening political and development endeavors. Following the Presidentâ€™s presentation, the Ministerial Cabinet heard work progress of the Ministries. In connection with the work accomplishments of the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministerial Cabinet heard and conducted discussion on the extent of rainfall in 2016 at national level, efforts to expand agriculture vis-Ã -vis economic development, administration and land management, community-based awareness raising programs, regrouping of villages as well as the efforts exerted to improve the living standard of citizens and enhance the culture of work and productivity. As regards the action program of the Ministry of Finance, the Cabinet of Ministers called on banks to effectively accomplish their tasks, develop human capacity and bring about qualitative change, introduce new technology and take the necessary measures to develop productivity. Regarding the Agricultural sector, the Cabinet of Ministers noted the development of agricultural productivity, development of crop seeds and livestock resources as well as fruits and vegetables, the efforts being exerted to preserve indigenous seeds and the action program for this year. During its deliberations on the report presented by the Ministry of Marine Resources, the Cabinet of Ministers stressed the need to expand fish distribution and put in place the necessary material and logistics, develop human resources and research capacity, in addition to developing semi-industrial fish farming as well as marine services and the control of resources thereof. In connection with the report presented by the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the Ministerial Cabinet conducted discussion on the ongoing development endeavors in the sector. The Cabinet of Ministers noted that a number of villages across the country are becoming beneficiaries of power supply and called for the speeding up of efforts to this end. It also conducted discussion on the action plan for 2017. Moreover, the Ministerial Cabinet took note of the different mining activities on the part of different companies. In the second day of its deliberations, the Cabinet of Ministers conducted discussion on the activities and action plan of the Ministries of Transport and Communications, Public Works, Land, Water and Environment, Tourism, Trade and Industry, National Development, Health, Labor and Human Welfare, Justice and Foreign Affairs. As regards the transportation and communication sector, the meeting made focus on the activities to expand land transportation and the projects to develop all sectors thereof. The Cabinet of Ministers further discussed human resource development, land and mobile telephone services, land and air transportation and the action plan for this year. In connection with the work program of the Ministry of Public Works, the meeting conducted discussion on the report presented regarding infrastructure, construction of health and educational facilities, stores and laboratories, and that of communication services. Regarding the Ministry of Land, Water and Environment, the meeting discussed the implementation of regulations and policies, the efforts exerted to ensure effective use of water and land resources, as well as programs to develop institutional capacity. It also discussed land management, information gathering pertaining to land usage, and shortcomings encountered as regards land proclamation. It further conducted discussion on the action plan for 2017 and efforts to develop human resources. Concerning the Tourism Sector, the Ministerial Cabinet held discussion on the efforts exerted to develop the sector and its contribution besides the action program for 2017. The meeting noted the efforts made to ensure quality services on the part of social service rendering institutions, the progress registered in domestic tourism as well as human resource development. In the domain of the trade and industry sectors, the meeting discussed domestic and foreign trade activities, the development of small enterprises and statistical information gathering. In connection with the work accomplishments of the Ministry of National Development, the Ministerial Cabinet conducted deliberations on bilateral cooperation at international level and their contribution. It also discussed the projects mapped out and their progress. As regards educational service, the meeting took note of participation of citizens, professional upgrading of teachers, supply of school materials, the research work undertaken, construction and maintenance of schools as well as the availability of textbooks. In connection with the work accomplishments of the Health Ministry, the Ministerial Cabinet discussed the availability of basic medical supplies, expansion of health facilities in remote parts of the country, control and treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases, the sustainable development of health service and the five-year strategic plan. In the domain of labor and human welfare, the meeting discussed nurturing the culture of work and productivity, amicable relationship among employers and employees, as well as training programs for disadvantaged citizens. Regarding the work program of the Ministry of Justice, the meeting discussed the efforts being exerted to promote qualitative administration of justice, provision of timely service and the activities made to enhance public awareness as well as organizing training programs. In its review of the work progress registered by the Ministry of Information, the Cabinet of Ministers discussed the efforts being exerted to develop programs, media technology advancement, participation of stakeholders, the introduction of modern IT and its five-year roadmap in addition to implementation of digital migration by 2020. Pertaining to the tasks accomplished by the Foreign Ministry, the Ministerial Cabinet conducted extensive discussion on activities undertaken to promote and strengthen relations at regional and global level as well as the role of all round public resistance in foiling anti- Eritrea agendas. The Ministerial Cabinet thus concluded its two-day meeting.