By Maria Gregoriou
THE CABINET gave the green light on a number of issues during its meeting at the presidential palace yesterday.
Among the items approved, ministers gave the green light for the incentive scheme for 2013–2015 for creation of municipal parking spaces in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos and other areas.
The government is aiming at attracting the private sector to invest in the creation of such parking facilities, which will decrease traffic congestion, the cabinet announcement said.
“New public parking will seriously decrease the traffic problems in the cities, especially in areas where the lack of parking areas contribute to making matter worse,” it said.
“Traffic damages the environment and impacts the ease of movement for residents, workers and passers-by.”
The scheme is a continuation of the incentive plan for the 2007 to 2012 period. The previous scheme approved the creation of more than 4,670 public parking spaces. The 2000 to 2005 scheme had approved 1,200 parking spaces.
The cabinet also approved a grant for the organisation of the Cyprus Rally. The grant will come from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) budget for the next three years.
The Cyprus Rally is seen beneficial to Cyprus as it is attracts global media coverage. It also brings in tourism and boosts the economy, the cabinet said.
“The direct economic benefits are remarkable, considering that the period in which the rally is organised is not during the tourist high season,” the cabinet said.
It is estimated that Cyprus Rally contributes €6.1 million to the economy, which exceeds the cost of organising the event.
A fighter’s grant of €10,000 was also approved to sponsor the association of WWII veterans. The finance ministry will make the necessary arrangement for the grant to be paid, the cabinet said.
Ministers were also briefed on the implementation of the law to help disabled people get employed in the public sector, which has been running since 2010.
“The law has been functioning effectively, increasing the number of people with disabilities into the workforce,” the statement added.
Eleven disabled people were recruited in 2012, and 69 were hired from 2010 until 2012.
The bill for listed building was also passed yesterday. The timeframe for the payment of transfer fees has been increased from six to eight years.
“This bill has been passed to coincide with the time frame given to people to extend their planning permits,” the cabinet said.
The property owners will now have the chance to deal with the problems caused by the economic crisis.
The cabinet also approved a decree for a monthly allowance of €40 a month to be given to asylum seekers for their urgent needs.