BEIRUT — A joint parliamentary committee convened Wednesday to discuss a draft of the capital control law but the discussions were postponed. Deputy Parliament Speaker Elie Ferzli attributed the postponement to Deputy Prime Minister Saade Chami’s announcement that talks with the International Monetary Fund on capital controls are still ongoing.
Here’s what we know:
• Deputy Parliament Speaker Elie Ferzli (Ind./W. Bekaa-Rashaya) said the committee cannot review the draft if the World Bank or the IMF have further observations. Noting that, the joint committee has given Chami one week to finalize talks with the IMF and to come back with a proposal they can review.
• Chami after his last meeting with Prime Minister Mikati said there will be delays in signing a preliminary agreement with the IMF, which could extend beyond the end of the year.
• The joint committees had been scheduled to meet Nov. 17, but the session was canceled. According to Aoun, the cancelation was due to Berri’s having to attend a conference abroad.
• The draft law remains in limbo more than two years into Lebanon’s banking crisis. It was scheduled for a vote in the Parliament in October 2020 but was sent back to the committee for further amendments, as demanded by the IMF.
• The capital control law is one of the IMF’s main demands in its negotiations with the Lebanese government, in hopes of unlocking a financial rescue package for the beleaguered country.