May 14 2020 - 10:10

PM Diab: IMF negotiations are the starting point for government’s financial plan

A cabinet session was held at the Grand Serail under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Hassan Diab Lebanon, news ,lbci ,أخبار IMF, Hassan Diab, Prime Minister,Lebanon,A cabinet session was held at the Grand Serail under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Hassan Diab
PM Diab: IMF negotiations are the starting point for government’s financial plan
Lebanon News
A cabinet session was held on Thursday at the Grand Serail under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

PM first said that the government has embarked on negotiations with the International Monetary Fund yesterday. Such negotiations are the starting point for the government's plan to redress the country's financial situation. God willing, these negotiations will yield satisfactory results for Lebanon in order to alleviate the burden on Lebanese people living in very difficult conditions today.

Certainly, we need to keep pace with these negotiations internally, and we hope the process won’t take much time. The government is keen on ensuring that the commitment with the IMF program does not put additional pressure on the Lebanese people. Thus, negotiations will be clear-cut, and we will follow up and study all the procedures very carefully.

He then welcomed the invitation of the International Support Group for Lebanon to provide assistance to Lebanon to overcome the current economic, monetary and financial crisis and address the economic, social, security and humanitarian challenges, as well as the repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic on the country; and the Group's appeal to the international community, including international organizations and financial institutions, to support Lebanon's endeavors address the current crisis.

The Head of the government then highlighted the importance of following the current investigations regarding speculation against the Lebanese pound, which is causing the USD exchange rate to rise and its repercussions on the Lebanese people’s livelihoods.  The government will certainly not interfere in these investigations in any way. However, the Lebanese people have the right to know the reason for the rise in the price of the dollar, who is manipulating the national currency, who is responsible for this, as well as the background to what is happening. The Lebanese people are definitely awaiting the results of these investigations and we want to complete them to disclose all relevant documentation and all the names of those involved in this case.

PM also noted that the investigations into the adulterated fuel file must reach decisive results and lead to the arrest of everyone involved in the looting of public funds. He added that the Lebanese will not remain silent in the face of any attempt to straddle the investigations into the files of rising dollar exchange rate and adulterated fuel.

He then added: “Undoubtedly, we are keen on ensuring the transparency of the investigations, and we will not interfere in the probe. But, at the same time, everyone involved should be arrested. No double standard policy shall apply. No one is cock of the walk. We have confidence in the judiciary, and we will be backing all measures that protect the Lebanese and give every accused person the right to defend themselves to prove their innocence. Certainly, we will not tolerate any kind of non-conformity or intentionally malicious behavior.”

As for the Coronavirus file, it appears that we are facing again a major challenge, due to the negligence of  some people and lack of commitment to precautionary measures and procedures. We will not allow the achievement we have made in containing the epidemic go to waste.

Therefore, if we find out during the new 4-day closure period that epidemic hotspots are a risk of proliferation, we will further extend the closure period. During the closure, the Ministry of Health will conduct spot tests to determine the magnitude of the risk.

In this framework, the Cabinet decided the following:

•    The first decision: within the framework of the exceptional and temporary measures required by the state of general mobilization to face the Coronavirus and all related social and economic issues, all illegally inbound or outbound materials and all vehicles used for this purpose shall be confiscated by the Army and the Internal Security Forces.

•    Secondly, the Cabinet has approved the request of the Ministry of Energy and Water to negotiate understandings with interested companies, based on the Memorandum of Understanding prepared by the Ministry with some amendments, and attached to this decision, which is an integral part of it, and submit a report that includes the result to the Cabinet in order for the plan to be implemented starting at Al-Zahrani.
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