BEIRUT — Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee MP Ibrahim Kanaan (FPM/Metn) on Thursday said regarding the 2022 budget that his committee gave “the government and the finance minister [Youssef Khalil] a week deadline to give us the numbers of [fiscal] incomes and expenses” to decide what to do accordingly.
Here’s what we know:
• On Tuesday, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati held a meeting with a number of ministers including Finance Minister Youssef Khalil and reportedly decided to raise the customs taxes at the rate of LL20,000 against the dollar.
• In a press conference following the Finance and Budget Committee session, which was expected to approve the budget on Thursday, Kanaan said that raising the customs tariffs is not the authority of the Finance and Budget Committee, “but we are a monitoring authority and we have made a bunch of inquiries” from the finance minister “and we would have a stance accordingly.”
• Kanaan also said that “we can insert numbers as the finance minister told us regarding the customs tariffs at the rate of LL20,000, but how would we collect it? We have to be realistic as the salaries of public employees are still at the rate of LL1,500.” Kanaan also said that in today’s session, he asked the finance minister about the financial effect of raising the customs tariffs on the budget.
• For his part, the member of the committee MP Ibrahim Mneimneh (“Forces of Change”/Beirut II) told L’Orient Today that while finalizing the budget there was “confusion” regarding raising the customs taxes. “The budget calculated the collection of the tariffs for nine months of the whole year whereas the tariff has not yet been raised,” Mneimneh said. With four months left in the year and the tariff still unraised, the budget is already behind to which Mneimneh commented saying that after inserting the customs tariffs in the budget calculations that “how it turned out to be is that if we included the real [fiscal] incomes, there would be a huge deficit” and that the custom tariffs make up to 60 percent of the fiscal income.
• Cabinet approved the 2022 budget in February and submitted it to Parliament before being discussed at the Finance and Budget Committee, which is yet to approve it after months of discussions.
BEIRUT — Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee MP Ibrahim Kanaan (FPM/Metn) on Thursday said regarding the 2022 budget that his committee gave “the government and the finance minister [Youssef Khalil] a week deadline to give us the numbers of [fiscal] incomes and expenses” to decide what to do accordingly.Here’s what we know: • On Tuesday, caretaker Prime Minister...