JERUSALEM May 10 Israel's finance minister said
on Friday he intends to rein in the tax benefits that major
companies are granted in Israel.
"The time has come to change the rules of the game regarding
non-taxable profits of international companies and tax
benefits," Yair Lapid told Jeremy Levin, the chief executive
officer of Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
, according to a statement.
Lapid, already feeling heat from the public for introducing
new austerity measures, is looking for ways to fill a ballooning
hole in Israel's 2013 budget. The government set a deficit
target of 4.65 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, or
about 47 billion shekels ($13 billion).
Israeli financial daily Globes reported that Teva, the
world's biggest maker of generic drugs, received a 3 billion
shekel tax break in 2011 as part of a tax law meant to encourage
large companies to invest in Israel.
The Finance Ministry statement did not include any details
of Lapid's plan, but said Levin and Lapid have agreed to hold
"intensive negotiations" to bring such changes.