Algeria needs $191bn to cover cultural investments Algiers – Hocine Bousalah Algeria will have to pass a supplementary budget for 2013 to cover “emergency” expenditure not yet accounted for, Finance Minister Karim Djhoudi has claimed. Any new bill would include special funds to prepare for “Constantine, Capital of Arab Culture” events in 2015 – a scheme led by the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ALESCO) celebrating Algeria’s historic city, 431 kilometres east of Algiers. ALESCO voted Constantine the Arab world’s 2015 city of culture in December. Constantine’s cultural director Djamel Foughali previously suggested $191bn would be necessary to cover the budget. Speaking on state radio on Thursday, Djoudi revealed a decision still had not been made over whether employment and investment programmes for southern Algeria would be included in the new bill. Asked whether the government’s “inability” to control expenditure had resulted in a wave of supplementary budgets in recent years, Djoudi said: “It’s not an expenditure problem, it’s just to cover emergency projects that come up.” Algeria’s original 2013 budget set tax incentives for small and medium-sized businesses, while raising income tax by 10 percent and reducing expenditure by 11 percent from 2012 levels.