BEIRUT — Labor Minister Mustafa Bayram proposed Thursday increasing the daily transport allowance for public sector workers to LL65,000. The allowance is presently set at LL24,000 per day after having been revised upwards recently in view of the socio-economic situation and financial collapse of the country.
Here’s what we know:
• At the end of the meeting of the ministerial committee in charge of finding solutions to help the Lebanese in the face of a crisis that has seen the national currency lose more than 90 percent of its value against the US dollar, the minister affirmed that he is committed to increasing the transport allowance. He specified that he will transmit his decision to the Prime Minister Najib Mikati within one day. He also noted that the proposal will be finalized at the next committee meeting. “We are trying, as a committee, to help the employees without damaging the economy,” Bayram said.
• Before going into effect, Bayram’s proposal must still be approved by the cabinet, which has not met for five weeks amid political tensions, and then by Parliament.
• The Lebanese, nearly 80 percent of whom are living below the poverty line, are struggling to buy fuel in view of soaring prices since the removal of state subsidies. The Lebanese lira remains moored at the official rate of LL1,500 against the dollar, while it was trading at nearly LL23,000 Thursday on the parallel market.