Saleh criticizes statements over oil wealth, says production inadequate

ADEN, Dec. 27 (Saba) - President Ali Abdullah Saleh slammed on Monday those who make irresponsible statements about the oil wealth and ask where it goes, saying Yemen's oil production is inadequate. Also, half of the daily oil production goes to foreign companies exploring and producing oil in the country, he said at the end of the 10th conference of navy and coast defence leaders in Aden. Saleh revealed that Yemen produces 370000 barrels a day, confirming Yemen's share from that is only 50 per cent. I say to those who ask about our oil wealth that our potential is modest compared to expenditure.Despite this, Yemen still relies on oil revenues, he said.You used to hear many irresponsible statements about the oil wealth and its distribution, but those who make such statements forgot that this wealth is the people's own and undoubtedly goes to them, he addressed the attendants.Oil revenues are spent on necessary defence weapons, requirements of basic services such as education, healthcare, water and infrastructure, and on more than a million and a half state employees, he said. Also, revenues from custom and taxes are insufficient because of the avoidance of the people, he said.In his speech, Saleh also urged to collect taxes properly and to take strict measures to combat tax avoidance. FRSaba