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BUDGET 2022

Only Aoun's signature needed before draft budget can be sent to Parliament

Only Aoun's signature needed before draft budget can be sent to Parliament

Free Pariotic Movement MP for Metn Ibrahim Kanaan. (Credit: National News Agency)

BEIRUT — “The budget has not been sent yet to Parliament,” MP Ibrahim Kanaan, who also heads Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee, said at a conference Wednesday organized by the Social and Economic Council. After his comments, both Finance Minister Youssef Khalil and Prime Minister Najib Mikati said they had signed the budget, leaving President Aoun's signature as the final one needed. 

Here’s what we know:

    • “Not only has the budget proposal not been finalized by the Finance Ministry but the transfer request to the Parliament has not been signed by President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Finance Minister Youssef Khalil,” said Kanaan, earlier in the day.

    • On Wednesday afternoon, after Kanaan's comments, Khalil announced he had signed the draft and sent it to the government to receive the other two required signatures, the state-run National News Agency reported.

    • Later Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Najib Mikati said he signed the draft and sent it to the president, whose signature is the final one required.   

    • Kanaan made his comments while addressing the conference to detail the assorted shortcomings he perceives in the budget proposal, mainly the increases in taxes when the economy is experiencing its worst economic contractions.

    • Kanaan also said the economy has contracted from $51 billion in 2019 calculated at a rate of LL1,584 to the US dollar, to $22 billion in 2021. He added that some estimates are for GDP to contract to as low as $10-12 billion in 2022.

    • Kanaan added, “The budget proposal assumes a 3 percent GDP growth rate for 2022, and “this is not feasible given the current conditions.”

    • The budget is a main requirement for the International Monetary Fund deal and criticism has been raised against the Mikati’s cabinet for rushing its preparation and approval for the sake of pushing IMF talks forward.

    • The preliminary round of negotiations with the IMF, which took place by video conference, ended mid-February with the fund sending a detailed list of recommendations that the Lebanese government should pursue in order to work towards a comprehensive economic recovery.

    • Wednesday’s conference was attended by private sector representatives and the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers head Bechara al-Asmar, as well as Mohamed Choucair, head of the National Federation of Chambers of Commerce.


BEIRUT — “The budget has not been sent yet to Parliament,” MP Ibrahim Kanaan, who also heads Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee, said at a conference Wednesday organized by the Social and Economic Council. After his comments, both Finance Minister Youssef Khalil and Prime Minister Najib Mikati said they had signed the budget, leaving President Aoun's signature as the final one...