Kanaan Says 'Late State Budget is Not a Budget'إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The head of the Finance Parliamentary Committee MP Ibrahim Kanaan stressed Sunday that a late state budget is not a real budget.
“A budget that is not approved on time is not a budget but rather a de facto situation and the 2019 state budget is eight months late from its constitutional deadline and it should have been passed before the fiscal year’s end so that we implement it,” Kanaan said in an interview with Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3).
The approval of timely state budgets “has not taken place since the endorsement of the Taef Accord,” Kanaan lamented.
He added: “Finalizing the budget within a month in Parliament depends on the responsiveness of ministries, administrations and MPs, but what’s certain is that will not endorse it blindly. There are over 1,000 pages and credits for 24 ministries that should be scrutinized and all viewpoints must be heard,” he added.
“What’s practically happening in Cabinet is preparation for the 2020 budget, after the (2019) missed its constitutional deadline,” Kanaan went on to say, urging a new mentality in approaching state budgets and “real reforms.”
Lebanon has vowed to slash public spending to unlock $11 billion worth of aid pledged by international donors during an April 2018 conference in Paris.
Last month, Prime Minister Saad Hariri vowed to introduce "the most austere budget in Lebanon's history" to combat the country's bulging fiscal deficit, sparking fears among public sector employees that their salaries may be cut.
Lebanon is one of the world's most indebted countries, with public debt estimated at 141 percent of GDP in 2018, according to credit ratings agency Moody's.