The PLC meeting with the Governor of the Central Bank of Aden July 13, 2022 (official)

Economy and Services: The Absent File from the PLC's Table


Tue, 16-08-2022 04:34 PM, Aden

Raad Alrimi (South24)

Since the announcement of its formation on April 7, it does not seem that Yemen's Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) is paying much attention to the economic and service files in the country in light of the accumulation of political and military files on the PLC's table, which was formed under GCC auspices, and represented the new legitimate authority composed of the main local anti-Houthi forces.

The countries of Saudi Arabia and the UAE announced $3 billion in support, coinciding with the PLC formation announcement, $2 billion of which is allocated to the Central Bank, while the last billion is related to subsidizing fuel for power stations and United Nations programs in Yemen. So far, none of the three billion has arrived after more than four months.

In addition to the delay in Gulf support, experts and observers believe that the political and military priorities have overshadowed the PLC's work programs at the expense of the service and economic agendas, despite repeated statements by the Council's leadership about economic and service alleviation, especially in the capital, Aden.

Awaiting support

Economic researcher Dr. Abdullah Ibrahim said that the reason for freezing economic reforms by the Presidential Council is due to “the GCC's failure to fulfill the financial support they announced during the PLC's formation.”

He added, "Also, it appears that the state's general budget is devoid of any investment programs because the available public, oil, tax and customs resources are not sufficient for current spending."

“Unfortunately, economic files do not seem to be a priority on the agenda of the PLC so far,” economic expert Mostafa Nasr, head of the Center for Studies and Media, told "South24". He added: "From my point of view, I think that this is due to the great conditions set by the GCC in return for their declared support for Yemen. This is the real reason for the absence of economic priority for the PLC."

He continued, "The PLC and the government are required to fulfill their requirements regarding this aspect and to create the space to absorb these funds."

And he added, "On the other hand, the international parties supporting Yemen must speed up the implementation of what they promised, because so far it is clear that there has been a slowdown in many aspects. Living conditions are important and must be a priority in the efforts of the PLC and the government as a whole."

However, economic expert Majed Al-Daari believes that the "lack of options before the PLC" is the reason for the supposed lack of interest in the economic file. He told "South24", "The PLC has sunk into the quagmire of politics and government appointments at the expense of its service and economic priorities. This is a natural situation that has led the PLC to make limited options away from the economic issue."

Al-Daari believes that "without regional and international financial support to save the Yemeni national economy and enhance the value of the local currency exchange, any economic movements of the PLC will be useless and worthless."

Al-Daari linked the GCC support to a number of local political variants. He added, "I rule out that the GCC countries will fulfill what they announced before arranging the conditions of all legitimate armed military formations within the framework of the structure of the ministries of defense and interior to unify their salaries and transfer the file of salaries from the shoulders of the Coalition states to the government to exchange it in the local currency."

On the other hand, Professor of Banking Sciences at the University of Aden, Dr. Youssef Mohammad, that "the PLC lack of interest in the economic file is due to the fact that the economic file is in dire need of more effort than presidential decisions." He added to "South24": "Economic reforms are an integrated process, and the greatest burden falls on the government and the executive body in the state."

Political preoccupation

The economic academic at the University of Aden. Saudi Ali Obaid for "South24". "The Presidential Council focuses on maintaining its presence and authority in South." He added, "When examining the steps and procedures of the PLC since its formation, we will find that they are mainly directed and focused towards that goal, even though this Council is considered a political tool with specific and temporary tasks."

He continued: "The PLC compass made a mistake in carrying out their duties. We did not see their political activity in the broad sense of political activity, nor did we see tangible solutions to the economic and service situation in the liberated areas, as they are called."

Over the past months, the PLC had already taken a number of important political and military measures, on top of which was the formation of the Supreme Military and Security Committee, which is entrusted with rearranging the status of the various forces within the framework of the ministries of defense and interior, restructuring the judiciary [the Supreme Judicial Council and the Yemeni government], Appointment of new ministers and governors.

Is the deposit enough?

Economic academic Saudi Ali Obaid Saleh downplays the impact and feasibility of the UAE-Saudi deposit on the Yemeni economy, saying that it "is not a magic wand capable of solving all our economic problems."

He believes that "the basic and correct solution to our economic problems is to benefit from all the elements and wealth that we possess, and they are many, but they need to get out of the state of war and instability, and they need to be arranged in priorities.

He added: "As for the deposit, its function is specific and limited, and it is related to improving the situation of the local currency and limiting speculation in it, and the deposit is specific to limit the rise in the prices of imported goods, by maintaining a balance in the exchange rate of the local currency, and securing a foreign currency to buy goods from abroad." ".

Expert Majed Al-Daari believes that "even if the Gulf financial support is met, it will not have a significant impact on the exchange rate or food prices, because manipulative money exchangers and speculators at the currency exchange rate have gained immunity and are able to limit any positive impact of financial deposits."

He added, "These money changers are the only profit from this situation and the continued collapse of the national currency in the absence of a real government economic reform program until now by the government."

The PLC Chairman, Rashad Al-Alimi, announced in a speech before the Speaker and members of the Presidency of the House of Representatives and heads of parliamentary committees earlier this week, the formation of a committee headed by the PLC member STC President Aidrous Al-Zubaidi to manage the higher resources of all the country’s land, sea and oil border crossings.

The state news agency "Saba" said yesterday that Rashad Al-Alimi departed to the UAE capital city Abu Dhabi, "on an unofficial work visit to discuss the procedures required to receive the Saudi-UAE deposit of the Central Bank."

Al-Alimi, Al-Zubaidi and other PLC members carried out a regional tour, in mid-June, which included Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to mobilize economic support for Yemen.

The country is experiencing an economic collapse, the largest since the beginning of the war, which cast a shadow over the population and caused increase in prices, especially the prices of basic food commodities in an unprecedented manner reaching more than 200% at the beginning of this year, before prices fell relatively with the PLC formation announcement.

In addition to the collapse of the local currency exchange rate and the rise in food prices, the governorates under the PLC's control mainly the capital, Aden, are witnessing severe service conditions, primarily in electricity, health and education, in addition to the discontinue of salary payment in the armed sector and low salaries in the civil sector, especially among teachers.

Raad Alrimi

Journalist at South24 Center for News and Studies

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