The dispute broke out between Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil and Foreign Minister Gibran Basil in the context of some budget items. And the dispute in fact transcends the issue of including the path of the Saints and the port of Jounieh within budget. Bassil announced that he would block all other benefits in the country if these two items were not included in the preliminary budget. The finance minister rushed to respond to him, considering that the two items are listed, in addition to what the machine instigates.
For Khalil, Bassil's statement goes no further than the context of the populist battle he is always trying to ask. It is gaining a public inside the Christian street. Even in the financial archive, Bassil wants to put popular headlines for political investment, regardless of numbers and facts. Some ministers have taken the position of Khalil, considering that some of the people behind populism are throwing backstage positions as opposed to public positions.
But this dispute, which assumes a political character, is inseparable from the real dispute over the foundations of the draft budget, especially as Economy Minister Mansour Batish made a presentation at the government session on the proposals of the Free Patriotic Movement of the budget. This offer has directly and indirectly hampered the Ministry of Finance's plan. The basis of the dispute had begun some time ago, specifically when Minister Basil has thrown a negative attitude on the austerity measures needed to provide some burdens, which may affect the salaries of employees or retirees. At that time, sources considered the Minister of Finance that Bassil intends to reach the budget in the cradle, and maintain responsibility for severe measures or austerity in the Ministry of Finance only. Request a quick response from Khalil that all items that were considered included in the budget to secure financial savings, which may involve some deduction of compensation or financial entitlements for military personnel or personnel, were not originally included. And what was included or similar was not isolated from the agreement with all political forces.
Disclaimer of Liability
Khalil refused to take responsibility for the budget, either in person or as a political team (Amal movement). And he was ahead of the completion of his project, rides and meetings many of the political forces and effective and planned in order to complete the project and sent to the table of the Council of Ministers to decide. Although Bassil was the first to announce the tough measures, he retracted his position, especially after the military's positions, and the position of President Michel Aoun, who is prominent in his refusal to touch the salaries and compensations of the military. The transfer of responsibility went to Prime Minister Saad Hariri as a defender of banks, refusing to charge interest on bank deposits.
With the growing problem of retired soldiers and their movement on the street, President Nabih Berri has taken the initiative of the President of the Republic and the leadership of the army, according to monitoring sources, considering that Berri is working to find a solution and a formula to avoid escalating and avoiding measures that could affect salaries and indemnities. On the other hand, other information reveals that the debate that is taking place in government sessions devoted to budget research is focused on the reintroduction of several fundamental changes in the draft budget. This is a clever move by Khalil. He knows that if the project is not discussed and changes are made on the cabinet desk, the final version of the project will be the responsibility of the project.
Edit the price of the dollar?
According to information, the draft budget presented does not meet the desired or required financial ambitions. Thus, actions aimed at providing financial resources need to be expanded. This is still far from being resolved, and can be left to a later stage, leading to the possibility of two, taxing banks, or interest on bank deposits, and compelling banks to provide soft loans to the state at 0 or 1% interest. This is impossible for banks to approve. The second possibility is to raise the value added tax or increase the percentage of the tax on consumer goods. But this will affect all segments of Lebanese society. Some sources criticize all these projects, rather than impose a progressive tax, increase collection logic, suspend customs duty exemptions, and open the maritime property file. There are those who consider that the current debate does not fit in with the pressures between the various powers, which can culminate later in the pressure of another type similar to the liberalization of the dollar, based on the principle of the free economy. This inevitably leads to a direct and high reduction of wages, without any obligation being imposed on either party. If no solution is found, everyone agrees.