Fana: At a Speed of Life!

Council of Ministers passes decisions on key diplomatic, economic bills

Addis Ababa, May 15, 2024 (FBC) – During its 32nd regular session held today, the Council of Ministers of Ethiopia passed decisions on a range of diplomatic, economic, and social bills.

The Council commenced proceedings by addressing four financial support and loan agreements. These include 52 million USD from the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) for the implementation of the Eastern Ethiopia Electric Grid Strengthening Project, 10 million euros from the Italian government for the implementation of the entrepreneurship and infrastructure construction project, 255 million USD from the International Development Association (IDA) for the implementation of the Lowland Areas Livelihood Improvement Project, and 393 million USD from IDA for implementation of Power Sector Reform, Investment and Modernization in Ethiopia (PRIME) project phase 1.

According to the Office of the Prime Minister, the loan obtained from AfDB is subject to 0.01% interest and a 0.1% service charge for managing the loan, with a maturity of 40 years, including a 15-year grace period. Meanwhile, the loan received from the Italian government is interest-free and has a grace period of 16 years and will be paid in 30 years. The loans obtained from IDA are interest-free, with only a 0.75% service charge for the costs incurred in managing the loans, with a grace period of 6 years and will be repaid in 38 years.

Following extensive discussion on the above bill, the Council unanimously endorsed all the loans in accordance with Ethiopia’s credit management policy and unanimously decided to forward the financial support and loan bill to the parliament for further deliberation and approval.

Secondly, the Council engaged in discussions regarding three draft bills and one draft regulation put forth by the Immigration and Citizenship Service of Ethiopia (ICS). The initial proposal pertains to amending the Immigration Proclamation No. 354/1995, with the objective of safeguarding citizens’ rights and freedom of movement, enhancing the quality and efficiency of immigration services provided to both Ethiopians and foreign nationals. The second bill was formulated to re-establish the Immigration and Citizenship Service, with the goal of aligning the institution’s services with the requirements of citizens, establishing a framework of transparency and accountability, and empowering the organization to safeguard our nation’s security and national interests. The third bill pertains to civil and family registration. This proposal was similarly formulated and submitted to the Council of Ministers, aiming to enhance the efficiency, accessibility, transparency, and effectiveness of service delivery by refining the civil and family registration system. Additionally, it seeks to institute public service entities equipped with a comprehensive registration system to uphold and honor citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms.

Following thorough deliberations on the three bills proposed by the Immigration & Citizenship Service, the Council unanimously agreed to refer them to the House of People’s Representatives for further discussions and approval, incorporating any additional insights deemed necessary.

Another matter presented to the Council by Immigration & Citizenship Service (ICS) is a proposed regulation to determine the fees levied for the services rendered by ICS. This draft regulation was crafted to enhance the scope of services provided by ICS, elevate service quality, and implement a cost-recovery system that considers the financial capabilities of its customers.

Following deliberations, the Council unanimously endorsed the draft regulation, stipulating that it will come into force upon its publication in the Negarit Gazette.

Lastly, the Council deliberated on a bill put forth by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning two bilateral agreements concluded with Russia and Indonesia. The initial agreement involves the enhancement of aviation sector between the governments of Ethiopia and Russia, while the second agreement pertains to visa waivers for bearers of diplomatic and service passports between the governments of Ethiopia and Indonesia.

Considering that the approval of these agreements would bolster Ethiopia’s bilateral relations with Russia and Indonesia, as well as enhance economic and social ties between the countries without imposing any detrimental effects or special obligations on Ethiopia, the Council unanimously decided to refer the bill regarding the aforementioned bilateral agreements to the parliament for approval with further deliberation and inputs.

You might also like

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.