Prime Minister Dr. Adel Safar on Tuesday chaired a Cabinet session during which the ministers discussed the situation of basic goods and materials in local markets and steps to provide them and protect consumers from unjustified tampering in prices. The Cabinet called upon the Ministry of Economy and Trade to take steps to monitor the market and prices to prevent the exploitation of the temporary suspension of the importation of some goods, particularly food and locally-produced products, in addition to reconsider some articles in the suspension decision to achieve national interest. The Cabinet then discussed a memo from the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources on its primary directives and work strategies which focus on stabilizing the oil and gas sector and oil production, exploring new areas, attracting new investments, taking advantage of Syria\'s location in terms of oil and gas pipelines, investing in mineral and non-mineral resources, and developing refining industries to meet local needs. The Cabinet also passed a bill on establishing two awards in the fields of literature and art to show appreciation for the creative output of Syrian writers and artists. In a statement to the press after the session, Minister of Culture Dr. Riyad Ismat said that the two awards, which include six separate awards handed by a specialized committee out on annual basis, aim at honoring intellectual, creative and artistic individuals who are renowned on Arab or international levels.