The Council of Ministers in its 24th regular session held today has passed various decisions after deliberating on the matters of national importance.
The Council first discussed on three sets of bilateral loan agreements entered with the Government of Italy regarding development loan worth 56 million euros out of which 10 million euro will be allocated for improving coffee asset value addition chain.
Out of the loan some 22 million euro is earmarked for promotion of employment generation projects and agro-industrial development in rural areas of Ethiopia while 24 million euro will be allocated for managing water resources development in the vicinities of Awash River watershed area.
The interest free loan with a grace period of 16 years is payable in a period of 30 years, according to office of the prime minister.
After ensuring that the loan scheme is compatible with the country’s credit policy, the Council unanimously endorsed the loan agreement document and passed it to the House of Peoples’ Representatives for approval.
The other issue the Council discussed was on two credit agreements worth 250 million USD and 50 million USD, entered with International Development Association.
The fund will be used for improving the quality of access to electric power by low income families in rural Ethiopia and for capacity building on human resources development respectively. These interest free loans are payable in 38 years with a grace period of six years.
Ensuring that the agreement is compatible with the nation’s credit policy, the Council of Minister unanimously approved the draft agreement document and referred it to the House of Peoples Representatives.
The Council also discussed on agenda items related to promoting foreign relations.
In this regard, the Council conducted discussion on a specific agreement with the Russian Federation pertaining to joint cooperation on the protection of intellectual patent rights on military- technical draft agreement.
After reviewing that the draft agreement is in consonance with the principles of equity and mutual benefit for both countries, the Council endorsed the document and referred it to the House of Peoples Representatives.
The Council of Ministers also discussed on a draft agreement to establish African Drug Agency.
The draft agreement would help to strengthen the efforts underway by the nation in controlling the production of drugs, building the capacity of professionals in drug control, effectively blending the production of traditional medicines with the manufacturing of modern drugs, and in promoting coordinated control of the production of drugs in the region.
After discussing on the draft document the Council referred it to the House of Peoples Representatives.
The other issue discussed by the Council was a draft agreement document presented to it on the foreign employment agreement with the Government of Lebanon.
The council has endorsed the document given the fact that there are large number of Ethiopian workers in Lebanon and with regard to ensuring the safety and security of these citizens and the expediency of strengthening diplomatic relations with the Lebanese Government and realizing that signing such documents is useful to ascertain the wellbeing of citizens and for ensuring their rights.
After deliberating on the document, the council has endorsed it unanimously and referred it to the House of Peoples Representatives for final approval.
Another agenda put before the Council for discussion was a draft agreement on bilateral agreements between the Republic of South Korea and India to annul visa requirements for holders of diplomatic passports on business trips.
After discussing on the importance of the draft agreement, the Council endorsed the draft agreement document and referred it to the House of Peoples Representatives.
Finally, the Council of Ministers discussed on a commercial agreement entered between the Government of Pakistan and Ethiopia in view of promoting the countries economic, commercial, investment opportunities and the importance attached to the promotion of diplomatic relations between the two countries and their common positions on major international issues.
The Council unanimously endorsed the agreement document and referred it to the House of Peoples Representatives.
Source: Ethiopian News Agency