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Turkish PM halts traditional gift giving in bid to boost economy

The new measure aims at reducing waste in government spending in order to boost the economy

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Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the government has decided to drop a traditional practice of giving gifts during official events as part of plans to boost the economy, Turkish news agency Cihan reported Thursday.

“We are suffering serious waste in government spending due to gift giving, and local authorities should drop it from this day forward,” Davutoğlu told a press conference in Ankara.

Davutoğlu said the decision comes as part of an eight-step reform package to maintain sustainable growth.

He added that the new measures would raise Turkish gross domestic product (GDP) to $2 trillion by the year 2023.

On Thursday, the lira struck a low in value of 2.41 lira to the dollar and 3.03 to the euro - breaking through the crucial 3.0 barrier.

The currency rallied, strengthening to 2.32 lira per dollar and 2.87 to per euro on Thursday.