DAMASCUS, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Amid reports about economic losses of more than 100 billion U.S. dollars, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi emphasized that the Syrian economy is still "fine" and that the government has succeeded in undermining all foreign plots to hit its economy.
A recent study issued by the non-government Syrian Center for Policy Research said that the losses of the Syrian economy till the middle of the current year have mounted to 103 billion dollars, noting that the figure poses 174 percent of GDP in 2010.
The study said that Syria lost nearly 2.3 million jobs during the same period, a matter that has resulted in a higher unemployment rate of up to 48.6 percent.
A recent study issued by the Syrian cabinet revealed that inflation rate has increased to 61.29 percent in April 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. Other unofficial figures have put the inflation rate at as high as 200 percent.
However, the Syrian premier emphasized that his government had strived to preserve the value of the Syrian pound in the face of foreign plots that aimed to undermine the national economy.
He stressed that Syria's monetary reserve is "fine," adding that what the government has spent as part of its intervention policy to preserve the value of the pound on the black market " didn't approach the reserve."
Ahead of the crisis, Syria's reserves of hard currency were estimated at 18 billion dollars. But the figure has reportedly dropped to nearly 3 billion dollars.
Al-Halqi noted that the monetary sector is one of the most important sectors in Syria that had been targeted six months following the start of the crisis in Syria more than two and a half year ago.
He said the pound was at risk during the last Muslim holy month of Ramadan when it was traded at 345 pounds against the dollar in the black market, indicating that the government worked hard to achieve stability in the exchange rate through an integrated team and with national expertise.
''Some countries have been planning to double the value of the U.S. dollar against the Syrian pound by thousand fold as was the case in other countries, but thanks to the governmental measures, it has increased by three or four-fold only, which is a reasonable proportion if compared to the scale of the crisis,'' al-Halqi said.
Al-Halqi asserted that the country's reserve of hard currency is still "big," expressing hopes to reach lower levels in the exchange rate, which has lately stood at 200 pounds against the dollar. The prime minister pointed out that the government has shut down all exchange companies and clamped down on money dealers.
On the issue of food security, the prime minister confirmed that the government has a wheat reserve of about 3 million tons and is still importing wheat to preserve the stockpile.
Al-Halqi affirmed that the government will continue to offer relief aid to the crisis-hit citizens through providing up to 976 makeshift residential centers, noting that more than 15 billion pounds have been sent in 2012 and till now on relief issues.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister for Services Affairs and Minister of Local Administration, Omar Ghalawanji, on his part, said the government's strategies at the current stage are centered on providing basic goods for citizens, the water, electricity and health services, the return of the displaced to their localities and providing relief aid for them.
''The government's efforts have helped return of a million displaced citizens to their localities,'' he said, adding that more than 8,000 government institutions have been damaged partially or completely and that the government's losses have reached more than 600 billion Syrian pounds