Main Points of Government's Emergency Economic Reforms


Lebanon's embattled government on Monday approved a series of far-reaching economic reforms aimed at addressing some of the grievances of an unprecedented mass protest movement.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced the measures in a televised press conference and the details of the package were published later in a statement.

Here are the key points:

Public finances- Reduction of state deficit to 0.63 percent of GDP in 2020, down from 7.59 percent in the 2019 budget

- The salaries of active and former presidents, ministers and lawmakers are slashed by half

- Ministry of information and other government bodies abolished to cut costs

- Banking sector to contribute 5.1 trillion Lebanese pounds ($3.4 billion) to deficit reduction

- State electricity company's deficit to be slashed by one trillion Lebanese pounds ($663 million)

- Launch of a plan to partially or fully privatise several sectors and public firms, including mobile phone operators, the Port of Beirut and national carrier Middle East Airlines

Social measures- New pension and welfare systems by the end of the year

- A 20-billion-pound ($13.5 million) boost to a fund for Lebanon's poorest and acceleration of a World Bank loan to support them

- 160-million cash injection to support housing loans

- Amnesty law to be adopted by end of 2019

Anti-corruption measures- Establishment of a national anti-corruption body

- Halt to state financing of infrastructure projects, which are to be developed by alternative funding including direct foreign investment

- Crackdown on smuggling with scanners and other measures

- Bill on the recovery of embezzled public funds

Infrastructure- Permits to be granted within four months for the construction of power plants to tackle chronic blackouts

- Launch of the first phase of an infrastructure investment plan agreed in April 2018 

- Major roadworks to facilitate access to Beirut

- Creation of regulatory authorities for the energy, telecommunications and civil aviation sectors and the stock exchange

Comments 2
Missing rabiosa 22 October 2019, 17:10

Finally abolishing Information Ministry. What about others ministries and state minsters positions. Defense, Interior, Foreign, Finance/Treasury, Education, Transport/Public Works, Health/Social Services, Housing/Urban Development/Planning, Energy/Environment. These are the on 10 ministries for such a small country that is necessary. All others should be abolished including "state minister" roles.

Privatize EDL, Telecom with government regulation as an oversight, issue more permits for other mobile companies to invest and increase competition.

Missing samiam 22 October 2019, 18:00

Oversight committees can't have any lebanese in them now---people already think the political class is going to select their cronies and nothing will be done. Need to have oversight by some outsiders like from the EU or UN. Also, all MP's, cabinet members, their family's and staff need to have their bank secrecy removed and also document where they get their money

Also, for God's sake, France has 16 ministries--why do we have 30?