Cabinet's Political Bickering Continues on Thorny Electricity Issue

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Political bickering on the controversial electricity issue during a cabinet session triggered counter-accusations on Wednesday between Energy Minister Jebran Bassil and Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi, reports said Thursday.

Bassil accused the Finance Ministry of failing to provide the cost for acquiring the power-generating ships that were expected to arrive in Lebanon from Turkey in October to limit the power rationing in the country.

On his part, Safadi assured that the necessary funds have been allocated for that purpose “a month and a half ago,” and that Electricity du Liban is to blame for not opening a bank account for the funds transfer.

Bassil in turn replied that the finance minster should have informed EDL of the necessary measures for that purpose.

Bassil had signed in July a three-year contract to lease power-generating vessels from Turkey’s Karadeniz company.

The first ship was expected to arrive in Lebanon on November 11.

The cabinet had agreed in March to lease the ships that would help provide 700 megawatts of electricity for a period of three years.

Lebanon has long suffered from electricity outages because of shortages at its power plants whose maximum capacity is less than 1,500 megawatts but the country’s actual need exceeds 2,300 megawatts.

Comments 26
Thumb arzak-ya-libnan 29 November 2012, 09:10

Bassil in turn replied that the finance minster should have informed EDL of the necessary measures for that purpose.

hahahaha shoo bek ya safadi?? dont you know he's a kid and you have to actually hold his hand and guide him through everything..

Here is a classic example of the B.S. FPM throws...:
Bassil: HE didnt transfer the funds
Safadi: i transfered the funds a month and a half ago, you need to open an account
Bassil: i already have many accounts that i own.. can i use them??
Safadi: no
Basil: waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa... why didnt you tell me how to do my job???

Thumb geha 29 November 2012, 12:08

and they say m14 did this and that :)
this cabinet is driving the country down the drain with their bickering and stupidity.
theses boys know nothing about governing and running a country.

Missing samiam 29 November 2012, 12:20

Yes and no--this is not the first time that EDL had been given funds for something, whether paying fuel, workers or other expenses. The money itself was allocated over a month ago, so there should have been communcition from ALL sides about the procedure. Everyone heard the news--so who follows up with it? If the minister of energy or the head of EDL don't then they are at least equally at fault.

If you get approved for a loan at the bank (and notified about it) and you don't ask how to get the money, whose fault would it be that you didn't get the money?

Thumb arzak-ya-libnan 29 November 2012, 13:12

7abeebi the payment was transferred to EDL a month and a half ago.. cant he communicate with his peers if does not know what to do?
what i am laughing at is Bassil didnt even know safadi had transferred the money in the first place.. shoo hal aflaton taba3ak...what does auditing have anything to do with the subject at hand???

Thumb arzak-ya-libnan 29 November 2012, 13:17

you cannot compare the dealings of a govt to a bank loan ya FT.. the finance ministry is there to do just that.. finance.. not do all the deals for electricity, public works, among others.
after the deal was approved by the ministers it was safadis job to transfer the money into the central bank account of the EDL (or the energy ministry is more like it ya aflaton accordion) it is not the finance ministry's job to follow the deal that the energy ministry signed with any private or public company.. and make sure all the clauses of the contract are fulfilled.. shoo hal ghabe2 hayda.. so what exactly is gebrans job.. to delegate? what a sham to try and act bright.
the same applies to public works.. the money that is approved by the govt is deposited into their account and THEY ensure smooth payment procedures and contract fulfillment.
ya 7aram.. with people like these defending him he really doesnt need any more enemies.

Thumb arzak-ya-libnan 29 November 2012, 13:23

"opening an account? why didnt the ministry of finance open it? is EDL responsible for that?"

leh 7abeebi?? the contract is between power supplying ships companies and the Energy Ministry of Lebanon... how is the finance minister going to open another account for the Energy Ministry? the energy minister is the one who opens accounts for the energy ministry..
1+1=2 lets start there and move up one step at a time.

Thumb arzak-ya-libnan 29 November 2012, 13:32

now thumb this down all you want, it doesnt make it less true, and it wont make FPM lovers brighter one iota.

Thumb arzak-ya-libnan 29 November 2012, 14:48

mowaten that is all speculation.. what i am talking about is when the funds have been allocated.. i.e. made available for deposit.. i am sure bassil has to check the contract and see what the document he signed stipulates... if it requires opening an account specifically for this purpose it is Bassil's job to open the account.. not safadi to tell him..
i am sure there is a lot of politics happening but that does not excuse bassil as a minister of fulfilling his obligations under the contract.. and ensuring that the funds are made available once the account is opened.

Thumb arzak-ya-libnan 29 November 2012, 15:13

mowaten.. what i am saying.. and i understand your point... is there are standard practices in intra-govt agency dealings... like said below .. either the agreement when the funds were asked for were to directly be deposited into the main Ministry account for further allocation by the energy minister, or there were prior requirements that were set when the funds were approved.. you cannot tell me the minister of a concerned ministry did not know that this specific scenario required him to open a new account for the transfer to be done.. if that is the case all our ministers would be working on guess work.. and as you say which i found humorous, crystal balls and coffee cup readings..

Missing phillipo 29 November 2012, 19:31

So why did the Ministry of Finance not pay to the Turkish Company direct.
Maybe in order that a few more hands could get % of it on the way?
Sorry but the excuses seem very feeble to me.

Default-user-icon Disgusted (Guest) 29 November 2012, 09:27

وعلمت "النهار" ان وزير الطاقة والمياه جبران باسيل سئل في الجلسة عن سبب تأخر وصول بواخر الكهرباء، فعزا ذلك الى تأخر وزارة المال في صرف الاموال للشركة صاحبة الالتزام لكن وزير المال محمد الصفدي اكد ان الوزارة صرفت الاموال لمصلحة الشركة منذ اكثر من شهر ونصف شهر وان التأخير كان بسبب عدم فتح حساب خاص لتحول اليه الاموال ولم يعد من سبب لتأخر الشركة. ورد باسيل بأنه كان على وزارة المال أن تبلغ مؤسسة كهرباء لبنان ضرورة فتح حساب قبل وقت، لكنها لم تفعل إلا عندما وصلنا الى استحقاق الدفع. وأضافت المعلومات ان الصفدي أثار ايضا موضوع العقبات القضائية التي تواجهها الشركة المعنية في باكستان حيث حجز على بواخرها.
ثم سأل بعض الوزراء عن مصير تلزيم معمل توليد الطاقة في دير عمار وموقف الشركة الفائزة بالمناقصة من خفض المبلغ الذي طلبته، فكان جواب باسيل بأن التفاوض مع الشركة الاسبانية لم يؤد الى أي تجاوب بعد. واقترح اجراء مناقصة جديدة. لكن وزراء رفضوا

Missing samiam 29 November 2012, 09:33

Bassil--worst energy minister ever.

like to talk the talk, but fails to actually do anything. my guess is that he is trying to delay it near the election to tell everyone "look what I am doing".


Missing samiam 29 November 2012, 12:14

he signs things--to his credit, he signed the IMEWE cable agreement, but that's all he did. He didn't think that the cable connection would be more useful if the centrals were connected by fiber optic. He is almost as short sighted as his height. The electric sector is getting worse each year under his 'patrionage'.

Coming up with plans is easy--hey build more power plants. It's not rocket science. Executing the plan is where leadership is needed---he is completely lacking in that category. Most people refer to him as the son in law and are certain that if he didn't marry who he did, he wouldn't be anywhere near a minister let alone be one.

As for internet speeds, they have improved, but are still mediocre at best. The people who are brag about mediocrity, don't have much else to say.

Default-user-icon Caligary (Guest) 30 November 2012, 00:10

@accordionman The latter comment makes me wonder either you are an illusionist or living in wonderland, for a telecom expert like you, do you really believe LOWEST CELL PHONE BILL or CALL compensates the LOWEST SERVICE and QUALITY OFFERINGS in the entire world, we are far behind AFRICA dear, we're the people that first introduced GSM in this region and now we are way behind, so please the excuse of low tariff plan vs. quality is something you should pay attention to, simply you can not sustain a decent VOICE CALL, and please let us not talk about 4G when 3G is far from any decent KPI in AFRICA even for that matter, I am certain you are not DATA user. now electricity 24/7 in 3 years since when today from you the expert trust me we've heard that 3 years ago from the same minster himself. So enough said and enough of bickering let all the politicians stick to their normal day jobs far from being in the public spot light as it will do them better.

Missing chouf3 29 November 2012, 09:42

Bassil is hopless..

Default-user-icon geo (Guest) 29 November 2012, 09:43

Enough blaming one another...Both 14 and 8 are full of excuses. It's time this country starts electing real patriots.

Thumb eli-g 29 November 2012, 13:03

this whole deal fell through because an account was not opened?
what kind of b.s is this.
Both liers.

Missing helicopter 29 November 2012, 15:30

Cabinet's Political Bickering Continues on Thorny Electricity Issue....

One man rebuilt Beirut and a whole cabinet can not get an electricity generating vessel commissioned.
Yes he lined his pockets (just like all others), but he got a lot accomplished. Allah your2hamou.

Missing peace 29 November 2012, 17:41

ther e is not just DT that was rebuilt under hariri lol !

Missing peace 29 November 2012, 19:53

LOL : just read what aoun said about where the gvt s money used to go during the syrian occupation... or you just forgot alzheimer FPMer?
a little example: hariri wanted to rebuild the railroad system (i have already sent you the links about it!) but no MP agreeed because it would have hurt heir businesses!! among whom some of you preent allies...
true he made solidere, true he bought for a small price properties but this shall not make you forget all what he brought to lebanon too! but i guess it is against your propaganda...
so educate yourself instead of reserving us your same old propaganda... ok kiddie?

Default-user-icon Hani (Guest) 29 November 2012, 15:31

You have to sit back and enjoy the show.......... because that's what it is, a show! in the meantime, the generator man passed by to collect his $180 this morning and send the politicians their cut!

Default-user-icon JC (Guest) 29 November 2012, 15:58

It doesn't appear that Safadi wanted to be helpful to Bassil or to Lebanon. He did not facilitate the transfer of funds on this matter and that is his job. This is obfuscation. EDL must have asked for clarification of the transfer long ago. This is of extreme importance to Lebanon. Miqati should not tolerate this kind of carelessness and incompetence. Bassil did his part. He got the deal Safadi's head should fall. See what Miqati says and does on this as he heads for the exit and you will know the truth of the matter.

Missing peace 29 November 2012, 17:40

hahahahahaha! they call this a united gvt? LOL! all from the same side and unable to govern! sooooo comic hahahaha! and some pretend that this gvt is efficient! here is another proof of how efficient they are!!!! hahahahaha!

Missing peace 29 November 2012, 19:48

oh!!! poor FT is not happy because he has the proof of the inefficiency of a gvt unable to communicate between themselves? so Poor FT gets angry and insults those who pinpoint that!

and as usaul FT answers beside the point! "i've never seen one so happy that his country is passing through hard times" we are talking about gvt inefficiency moron! what does that have to do with hard times? LOL
or you seem to believe that your gvt IS the country LOL!!!!!!

stupid as ever you d better not answer to try to look smart, it only makes you look the contrary!

Default-user-icon Moonraker (Guest) 29 November 2012, 18:52

@ Mowaten , i dont think it is safadi's fault. Bassil is the energy minister, he should provide the cost for the project and then submit it to a mixed parliamentory comitee to vote for it, then when approved, he must go back to the finance comitee and give it so they can allocate him the funds and proceed. Safadi has always proved himself as a not bad finance minister, but Bassil.... In the telecom , he was a disaster opening a million lines on a alreeady over the edge capacity that could not handle it. lines cut too often. And in the energy, he could not do anything till now and still searhing for a solution and electricity is cutting more and more...

Default-user-icon Moonraker (Guest) 29 November 2012, 18:54

@ Mowaten, i dont agree as well with your point of view on Miqati. although i tend to be more against march 8th and a bit close to March 14th, but not supporting them anymore because they are worthless as well. Miqati doesnt need a few more millions trust me. its like saying Hariri is helping the FSA with millions when Qatar and KSA have billions every day as profit and send them to FSA.. those people are just puppets. Much bigger schemes for Lebanon to watch right now is the handling of the natural ressources that are at stake. We should unite to extract our wealth before all those crooks have a part in it.