Lebonan

Lebanon PM announces reforms amid street protests

Lebanon PM announces reforms amid street protests. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said the cabinet has approved a draft of economic reforms.

Lebanon PM announces reforms

While speaking at a press conference at Baabda Palace near the capital Beirut on Monday, Hariri made this announcement.

Ministers salaries to be halved

Under the reforms, ministers’ wages would be halved. The cabinet also agreed on the 2020 budget in a bid to tackle fiscal crisis in the cash-starved country. The 2020 state budget envisages a deficit of 0.6 percent.

Furthermore, they sought and end to the nationwide demonstrations.

No new tax on Lebanese

The government also agreed not to impose new taxes on citizens. The central bank and financial institution set to participate in the deficit-reduction. They would do it through 5.1 trillion Lebanese pounds ($3.4 billion), the Lebanese prime minister noted.

Accountability

He further noted an agreement  on 50% cut in the salaries of former and current lawmakers and ministers.

Besides, cabinet agreed on accountability for return of looted public funds.

Lebanon PM announces reforms

Abolition of two ministries

He went on to say that the package of reforms includes abolishment of the ministry of information and other public institutions.

Privatisation study

Hariri announced for a study to privatize the two government-owned mobile phone operators in the country –MTC Touch and Alfa.

Health facilities for Lebanese

The government will provide healthcare for the elderly, and pump an additional 20 billion Lebanese pounds ($13.2 million) for the support of the most vulnerable people, speed up licensing for power plants, reduce power cuts by 50 percent next year and allocate 165 million dollars for housing loans, Hariri said.

The Lebanese prime minister also stressed the need for the implementation of agreements reached during the CEDRE Conference for international donors and investors to support Lebanon’s economy. He asserted that the measures could unlock $11 billion in Western donor pledges and help avert economic collapse.

Hariri underlined that ministries won’t do any investments. And that the government will rely on foreign investments in a bid to stop money squandering in 2020.

The Lebanese prime minister added that he is ready to go for early parliamentary elections if that is what people on the streets are looking for.

“Protests across country restored Lebanon’s national identity, and broke sectarian barriers. I will not allow anyone to threaten or scare you (protesters) away. These steps are not intended to ask people to stop protesting and expressing their anger,” Hariri highlighted.

 

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