BEIRUT — Caretaker Economy Minister Amin Salam said, “There is no decision to lift the subsidies on wheat,” at a press conference on Monday. He added that the “World Bank agreed to grant us a loan because it found that we have a sincere intention, national action, and honest management of this file,” according to the state-sponsored National News Agency.
Here’s what we know:
• “There has been a lot of talk about lifting subsidies and other things, and I say in all honesty that we in the Ministry of Economy are preserving subsidies according to the logical principles that apply in all countries,” Salam said. “I have received comments that Lebanon is unable to continue subsidizing goods. Of course, when any country is in a stumbling situation such as Lebanon, it is unable to provide support, and we have seen how in the past the subsidies were lifted on many commodities indiscriminately and how this negatively affected the purchasing power of the citizens.”
• He also added, “Lifting subsidies must be carried out according to an integrated program and not randomly, because it is not permissible to tamper with the livelihood of the citizen, and if we do not give the bundle of bread the necessary attention or tamper with it, we will hit everything that is left.”
• Mills are getting the “initial acceptance from the Banque du Liban and on that basis they raise an order to importers from abroad, and if all the conditions are met, they send the required quantities, and this process takes about a month and is very complicated and not as simple as you are talking about,” Salam added.
• “We went to secure withdrawal rights in order to provide wheat and medicine,” he said, adding that the ministry “went to the World Bank to obtain this soft loan of $150 million, which, like the financing card, is a basic, necessary and vital loan.”
• “I hope the new parliament will speed up approval, because every delay will delay the citizen's livelihood…until the loan is given,” he said. “We need the approval of the parliament, and after its approval, we have about a month of work before us.”
BEIRUT — Caretaker Economy Minister Amin Salam said, “There is no decision to lift the subsidies on wheat,” at a press conference on Monday. He added that the “World Bank agreed to grant us a loan because it found that we have a sincere intention, national action, and honest management of this file,” according to the state-sponsored National News Agency.Here’s what we know: ...