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What Are the Fiscal Reforms Announced by the Lebanese Government After Days of Protests

What Are the Fiscal Reforms Announced by the Lebanese Government After Days of Protests
folder_openLebanon access_timeone month ago
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By Staff

The fiscal reforms announced by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday following nationwide protests are the following:

• Cutting 50% of salaries of some current and former presidents, ministers, and MPs

• Abolishing several state institutions, including the Ministry of Information

• Passing a law to establish an anti-corruption committee by the end of the year

• Drafting a law that seeks to restore stolen public funds

• Appointing regulatory bodies for the power sector, telecommunications, and civil aviation "as soon as possible"

• Not imposing new taxes in 2020 budget

• Slashing the budget of the agency in charge of development and construction by 70%, along with cutting the budget of other state bodies

• Reducing by $663mn the deficit in the power sector, which drains state funds while failing to meet the country's needs

• Speeding up the process of awarding contracts for the construction of new power plants

• Planning to approve, within three weeks, the first phase of a capital investment program that donors have pledged to finance with $11 billion, on condition of reforms

• Moving to privatize telecommunications

• Setting up scanners at border crossings to combat smuggling and toughening punishments for smugglers

• Approving social security benefits for the elderly by the end of the year

• Providing an additional $13.3mn to a program that supports poor families

• Providing $160 million to back housing loans

• Increasing tax on bank profits, as part of a plan of having banks aid in a deficit reduction of about $3.4bn

• Launching investment projects for the northern and southern entrances of the capital Beirut