Resist the urge for loans, Mansour tells Emiratis

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Resist the urge for loans, Mansour tells Emiratis Muaz Shabandri / 12 February 2014 Shaikh Mohammed launches Ehtmam Web initiative along with the Deputy PM at the end of the plenary session. Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has urged Emirati citizens to be more careful and prudent when taking loans from banks. “My advice and recommendation to UAE citizens is not to take a loan unless you are in dire need. Take a loan in order to establish your own business and if you are aware of the risks. The citizen has to be aware of this matter and the media can play an important role in highlighting financial guidance,” he said during a plenary session on the second day of The Government Summit on Tuesday. Shaikh Mohammed, in the presence of Shaikh Mansour, inaugurated ‘Ehtmam’, a website of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, on the sidelines of the Dubai Government Summit on Tuesday. Citizens can log on to the website and submit suggestions and ideas aimed at development of local community. — Wam His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Ehtmam Web initiative along with the Deputy PM at the end of the plenary session. The Ehtmam service will help members of the public to submit comments and suggestions on services provided by government entities and  give feedback for improving government services. It will also allow residents to raise complaints concerning customer service, problems or unjustified delays in finishing processing the applications or any mistreatment from a government employee. Talking about loans earlier, Shaikh Mansour said: “A bank has certain responsibilities and people who benefit from loans should also be aware of the risks involved. We do realise there are some weaknesses in our laws and we should improve these laws for the sake of UAE,” . In 2012, the government’s initiative to pay off debts by Emiratis reached 1,500 citizens. A total of Dh1.3 billion was paid to banks in 2012 to help heavily indebted ones. In 2013, the number of beneficiaries of the debts settlement fund reached 2,000 citizens and it had paid off Dh2.05 billion. Shaikh Mansour, who is also Minister of Presidential Affairs, acknowledged the efforts of local and international banks and recognised the support extended to the UAE Government. Asked about the Arab spring and its effect on the UAE, the Deputy PM highlighted the openness of the UAE’s leaders to innovation and development. “Throughout our history, the people of the UAE have always been very supportive of the leadership because of the strong bond between the leaders and people.” He added: “When a revolution takes place, there should be a positive outcome. We pray to Allah to stabilise these Arab countries and I hope these countries go back to better conditions. Arabs are welcome in the UAE and we do really exchange our experiences with them. We want to take advantage of their ideas and we have implemented some schemes to benefit from Arab experiences.” During the session, Shaikh Mansour was also asked about the increasing energy needs of the UAE and how the country planned to meet the infrastructure requirements. In reply, he said: “The energy minister is doing a great job in upgrading water and electricity infrastructure. The ratio of increase in demand for energy services is very high and it has reached 12 per cent in some areas of the UAE. Federal institutions have created a 10-year plan and providing water and electricity to all emirates is a priority. These high ratios of increase do not suit the requirements of water and power generation and we have insisted on more cooperation (between federal and city authorities).” For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at , and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes Taylor Scott International

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