Kanaan visits Berri: Budget necessary to prevent ‘chaotic expenditures’

Finance and Budget Committee Head, MP Ibrahim Kanaan, on Monday met with Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, and discussed with him an array of financial affairs � on the eve of tomorrow's legislative session, which had been scheduled to study and appro...

Finance and Budget Committee Head, MP Ibrahim Kanaan, on Monday met with Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, and discussed with him an array of financial affairs � on the eve of tomorrow's legislative session, which had been scheduled to study and approve the 2020 state budget.

In the wake of the meeting, Kanaan said that the meeting had been an opportunity to discuss the Finance and Budget Committee's amendments to the 2020 budget, as well as some exceptional measures to restore confidence and put Lebanon back on the right track.

In terms of credits, there is a reduction of LBP 800 billion to the figures received from the government. There are also some exceptional measures that have been approved by the Finance Committee, including prior scrutiny of all loans and grants, especially those involving public institutions, Kansan explained.

He added that there were legal articles requiring the transfer of Beirut Port money and revenues, and those of both of Lebanon's cell phone companies, directly to the treasury.

Kanaan went on to explain that the budget also included raising deposit guarantees for small depositors from LBL 5 to 75 million.

What we found out from the Association of Banks and the Central Bank is that 86% of depositors' finances belong to small depositors, which means that this step can relax citizens, especially in extreme cases which might lead to bankruptcy, the lawmaker said.

He added that among the measures mentioned in the budget were those related to defaulters in housing, agricultural, industrial, tourism and environmental loans, in terms of stopping the criminal and contractual procedures, and granting a period of 6 months without accumulation of interest, which was agreed upon with the concerned banks.

Kanaan also pointed out that the budget included extending the deadlines for tax exemptions to June 30, 2020, for car mechanics, municipalities, and various taxations.

There are long-awaited items in this budget, including securing the shortage of the optional social security services, in addition to the dues of Lebanese University professors since 2016, Kanaan said, adding that discussions will also touch on other items such as those involving the Civil Defense.

The approval of the budget is necessary to prevent chaotic expenditures. This is a basic, non-political action that benefits every citizen; it requires integration between institutions, the street, and the citizen to accomplish it," he added.

Source: National News Agency