JERUSALEM, July 16 Teva Pharmaceutical
Industries, Israel's largest company, reaped nearly 12
billion shekels ($3.3 billion) in government tax breaks between
2006 and 2011 as part of a programme to encourage capital
investment, the Tax Authority said on Tuesday.
Teva, the world's largest generic drugmaker, led
the list of companies receiving annual tax breaks at 11.78
billion shekels, followed by Israel Chemicals at 2.2
billion and Check Point Software Technologies at 1.65
billion, the authority said.
They were among many other public companies who received
state tax benefits.
Such figures have been published in Israeli newspapers,
fuelling outrage from politicians and the public who believe
that the government should not be doling out tax breaks when the
budget faces a large deficit that will be closed by spending
cuts and tax hikes.
Teva, which had revenue above $20 billion in 2012, said it
has and will continue to pay taxes in full compliance with the
"Teva has fulfilled the purpose and lives up to the spirit
of the Capital Investment Encouragement Law," it said in
response to the report. "The law greatly contributed to Teva's
expansion in Israel, to the country's competitiveness, and to
boosting the periphery."
In the past decade Teva doubled the number of its direct
employees in Israel to more than 7,100 and has invested 8
billion shekels constructing new facilities and 15 billion in
research and development. Its exports in the past decade
totalled 140 billion shekels.
In response to the list of companies receiving benefits, the
Finance Ministry said they were approved by the government.
"These benefits are being re-examined by Finance Minister
Yair Lapid with a goal of updating and adapting them to the
needs and economic reality," the ministry said in a statement.