Finance minister says Lebanon not bankrupt

hassan khalilLebanese Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said on Tuesday that Lebanon is going through a tough economic and financial situation but it is not bankrupt.

“We are not a bankrupt country and there is a great willingness to cooperate with the Central Bank in order to manage the financial and banking situation. We are capable to go on and to maintain our stability,” Khalil was quoted as saying by Elnashra, an online independent newspaper.

However, Khalil added that the government and the parliament still have a big responsibility to implement the reform measures in the 2019 state budget.

He noted that the 2019 state budget is only a start for a bigger reform project.

The minister also emphasized the need to increase the government’s revenues by dealing with tax evasion and reform of the electricity sector.

Budget approved by Parliament’s Committee

 

Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee has approved the draft 2019 budget with a LL500 billion drop ($330 million) in expenditures, its chair said Tuesday night. “The budget has been reduced by around LL500 billion,” Ibrahim Kanaan announced in a tweet. .

The budget, which has already been approved by Cabinet, includes cuts to public spending and tax hikes aiming to slash the deficit, which stood at 11.1 percent of GDP last year. The version approved by Cabinet topped LL23 trillion in spending.

However, the budget has been faced with criticism by local economists who believe that the government did not take serious austerity measures while it could have done a lot more.

The bill now heads to the full Parliament for final amendment and approval.

With Xinhua

 

  • Arzna

    How reassuring !!!
    What the minister is trying to say is that all the banks in Lebanon will be bankrupt before the state since they are the main lender.
    One possible solution to avoid bankruptcy is to close all the illegal border crossings, the land ones linking Lebanon to Syria the sea ports and and the airport . Hezbollah and its allies reportedly uses all the illegal crossings to import goods into Lebanon to avoid paying import duty. This will save billions in lost revenue to the state
    Another additional solution is for the state to collect for EDL electricity charges from Hezbollah and Speaker Nabih Berri supporters and allies. This by itself will save billions in subsidies to EDL.
    The problem is no one can confront Hezbollah because no longer it is a state within a state ,Its arms have made it the real state. Lebanon the state has become a Hezbollah hostage