The budget is approved… not approved?!


Hassan Moukalled

Finally, the government passed the budget review, and approved it, after its president got angry, then calmed down and the ministers returned to the cabinet meeting, allowing the white smoke to come out.

Until the time of this writing, there is no official information on what actually happened, and according to the ministers, their interpretations were divergent and varied, and sometimes even contradictory in the understanding of what was approved.

Is the element of the application concerning the banks tax without allowing them to lower the tax interest of the income tax deposits approved? A big secret seems to be the ambiguity in the response in favor of the banks and their interpretation and what has become customary since the approval of the tax in 2003.

Is the special contribution on profits of financial engineering amounting to 1,000 billion Lebanese pounds approved? It seems that the decision has been postponed for ten days to consult with the authority of issues and consultations in the Ministry of Justice.

It is known that the experiments in this framework are bitter, because any deferred tax for the financial sector is going to result in favor of this sector, because individuals in this sector form a big part of the authority.

Today In the midst of all this uncertainty the subject concerning cutting the account and its mechanism returned from a wide-open debate, which is the most difficult and complex subject before approving the budget, so will it open the bazaar again on this?

Many unsettling questions on the table … and the experience of the last two months in the budget debate is not encouraging, either in terms of the approach or the terms of the reform, or to organize priorities and finally the unjustified curb.

Waiting the official information and the agreement of officials on it to be able to evaluate.

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Author: Hassan Khazaal

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