Lebanon: the 2018 budget puzzle 2
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Kheireddine Batache
Tuesday 13 March 2018 Last update on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 At 11:40 AM

Being under international pressure following the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommandations, Lebanon’s government will submit its 2018 budget to the parliament for approval.

It’s time to the key test of the parliament for the Lebanese government 2018 budget with aim of having less 145 million dollars deficit than in 2017.  The draft provides for spendings worth around 15 billion dollars and revenues worth around 12 billion dollars.

According to Finance Minister Ali Hassan, the new budget also unveils that the deficit will not exceed 4, 8 billion dollars. “We will spend 38% of the budget on debt servicing”, he said. However, the 2018 budget will not include any additional taxes.

Comparing to the volume of its economy, Lebanon is one of the most indebted countries in the Middle-East. Therefore, the government is willing to limit public expenditures in order to reduce the deficit. To serve as an example that comes from the top, Prime Minister Saad Hariri underlined the efforts made by all ministries, as they committed to cut their budgets by 20%.

On the other hand, Lebanon will seek up 16 billion dollars in infrastructure investment, in the framework of a conference in Paris scheduled for April next.

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