Minister of Finance Yair Lapid told senior Ministry of Finance officials that he was adamantly opposed to the deal for the sale of Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL) to Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, and that he would conduct a "militant policy to preserve the natural treasures of the State of Israel".
"Israel's natural resources are assets that belong to the public, and the Israeli public should be the first to benefit from them," the minister said.
Lapid also announced that he had decided to set up a public committee to re-examine all the state's rights in natural resources managed by private companies.
As reported by "Globes" in November 2012, Accountant General Michal Abadi-Boiangiou was the only senior Ministry of Finance official to oppose the Israel Chemicals-Potash deal, while the others, headed by Director-General Doron Cohen, regarded it favorably.
Israel Chemicals CEO Stefan Borgas said earlier today, "The cash Israel Chemicals delivers to Israeli governments directly every year exceeds a billion shekels a year, including the taxes, royalties and taxes on dividends that we pay directly to the government. This amounts to 35% of our profits in Israel. In the future, we will be paying even more, as a result of changes in the tax policies applied to Israel Chemicals alone. We expect the GT to reach 45%, which is the highest GT paid by any fertilizer or chemical company in the world."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 10, 2013
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