At the beginning of yesterday’s session, the head of the finance committee MP Ibrahim Kanaan objected to the numbers sent by the Finance Ministry which were based on a value of LBP 15,000 for the so-called “customs dollar.”
The lawmakers later approved hiking passport issuance fees to LBP 1 million for a validity of five years and LBP 2 million for a validity of 10 years.
They also approved a suggestion from the Lebanese Forces (LF) bloc for exempting retirement salaries from income taxes.
The bloc also raised the issue of recovering $52 million from a number of airlines for the benefit of the Lebanese University (LU).
“On the one hand, it is not right to continue with such an unclear budget whose numbers are unorganized and lacking reforms. On the other hand, the budget’s approval would help regulate public finances and rectify state administrations’ situation,” Bassil added.
“There is an unserious approach in dealing with the budget issue,” the FPM chief said.
“You’re saying something wrong that should be omitted from the minutes of the meeting. Neither I nor parliament will submit to the International Monetary Fund or others. Parliament is the master of itself and there is sovereignty in our parliament,” Berri added.
Mikati had said that “the IMF has pledged to cover the deficit after an agreement is reached or else we would be heading to inflation.”