The Lebanese cabinet is scheduled to discuss the electricity crisis during an extraordinary session on Monday.
Electricity Minister Jebran Bassil said discussing his electricity plan on the first day of summer symbolizes the beginning of a solution to power cuts.
Bassil told LBC TV network on Monday that he was late in presenting the report because he has been working for several month a political consensus to guarantee a safe passage for his plan
Al-Liwaa daily quoted a minister as saying that the cabinet would deal with the issue away from political differences because all sides are keen on seeing a power supply of 24/24 in all Lebanese regions.
Bassil told As Safir that the plan paves way for cutting the deficit at Electricite du Liban and helps citizens avoid paying for power generators as state electricity alternatives.
It would also “create hundreds of new job opportunities and contribute to giving impetus to the economic sector,” Bassil said.
Lebanon has been experiencing daily blackouts for several years. The electricity company Electricite du Liban, which is the only utility company in Lebanon has been losing money constantly despite the fact that electricity charges in Lebanon are relatively high. The problem according to energy observers is collections. EDL collectors are scared to collect in the Hezbollah and Amal strongholds because many (collectors) have been mugged or killed. The Lebanese have been coping with power blackouts by either buying their own power generators or by using the Standby Power generation equipment of the private enterprises .
Prior to the cabinet meeting on Monday several ministers commented on Basil’s plan:
Minister of the Displaced Akram Chehayeb described the plan as complete and said it should be fully implemented.
Minister of State Youssef Saadeh said that there was consensus around Bassil’s plan.
Minister of State Jean Ogassapian, told reporters that the plan focused on electrical power sources
Labor Minister Boutros Harb said that it contained good ideas.
Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi said that the plan was strategic, and needs further discussions.