Cabinet meeting decisions read by the Minister of Information, Manal Abdel Samad:

Prime Minister Hassan Diab chaired the Cabinet meeting today at the Grand Serail. PM Diab said, at the outset of the meeting, that
the government is targeted by a political campaign labeled “rejecting haircut”.

He added: It is surprising that this overall campaign is based on the announcement we have made, stating that over 90% of Lebanese bank deposits will not be touched.

He further said that “in any case, I will address this issue in detail soon. However, it is worth mentioning that this targeted political campaign seeks to induce us into a debate, but we will not slip into such a debate at the present time. We will respond scientifically without fomenting antagonism, a discourse that some have tried to use in their political campaign against the government, and this is very shameful”.

PM Diab continued: “I think the Lebanese already fed up with accumulated and emerging crises, and they can no longer tolerate being used as human shields to serve personal interests”.

Regarding the corona file, the Prime Minister stated that the first stage of the Lebanese repatriation plan was completed, and that the government has taken excellent measures in this regard. PM Diab praised as well the efforts made by the Minister of Health, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Works and the Minister of the Interior, to make sure best conditions and procedures are in place for the return plan.

PM Diab indicated that the preliminary results of the tests conducted for the returnees were acceptable in terms of the number of affected expatriates.

He added: “At present, we have the option to resume or temporarily freeze flights. This decision should be well thought out, free of any influence, in order to pursue our successful containment policy”.

As for the spread of the epidemic in Lebanon, PM Diab stated that “the situation is still under control, despite the outbreak in Bcharre, which is being carefully addressed, and with the risk of virus spreading looming in Akkar region. However, this does not absolve us of our responsibility to continue implementing strict measures in all regions, because any laxity will allow the epidemic to infiltrate into many regions”.

PM Diab raised the issue of financial aid distribution, adopted by the cabinet, stating that the government has concomitantly speeded up preparations for the distribution of financial aid to families in need, but unfortunately, after the audit conducted by the Lebanese army, we found out that the lists submitted by some sectors featured several major errors. Therefore, we will have to postpone the distribution of aid pending the army’s completion of lists’ revision.

As for Lebanese students abroad, PM Diab stated that “it is not acceptable that parents of students are still unable to make wire transfers from their bank deposits to their children abroad, who are suffering, especially in light of the new coronavirus, stressing on the need for banks to facilitate these transfers, and put an end to the suffering of parents and students alike.”

Also, with regard to accumulated outstanding hospital dues, with hospitals warning against the possible inability to pay the salaries of its employees, PM Diab declared that the Minister of Finance is currently working on a settlement project to pay part of these dues and reimburse outstanding dues in monthly installments.

In addition, the Council of Ministers has approved the request made by the Minister of State for Administrative Development to extend the solid waste management project for 2 additional years and to add new centers to the list of centers that are funded, operated and maintained through the Minister’s office.

The Minister of Information also mentioned the plan for meetings between concerned ministries and representatives of various society bodies to discuss the government’s financial program submitted by the Ministry of Finance to the Council of Ministers on March 31.

The first meeting will take place tomorrow, April 15th, with the Minister of Finance and other concerned Ministers at the Serail, in the presence of representatives of the economic bodies and the Economic and Social Council.

The second meeting will be held the day after tomorrow with representatives of councils, unions, and liberal professions. We will announce new meetings next week in the presence of economic and financial experts, students, and other specialists.


Source: National News Agency