BEIRUT — Economy Minister Amin Salam on Monday announced a proposal that would allow supermarkets to price their imported products in dollars.
"For as long we have avoided pricing in dollars to protect the citizens ... nobody can control the discretive nature of pricing anymore," Salam said during a press conference.
"If we are to [allow dollarized pricing], we should differentiate between pricing in dollars and forcing the payment in dollars, which the law forbids," Salam continued. "Because the country is going through exceptional times, we have to take exceptional measures."
The minister said the measure should be used for "a brief period of time," and added that "such measures have been taken in previous decades when things got tough."
Salam did not clarify during the press conference which exchange rate supermarkets would accept as payment for goods priced in dollars.
When asked this question, a spokesperson for the Economy Ministry told L'Orient Today the measure "is still under study."
The lira has lost more than 98 percent of its value over the last three years as Lebanon continues to struggle with one of the worst economic crises in modern history.
The value of the lira fluctuates daily — often violently — leading many shops and restaurants to price their goods in dollars.