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The Governor of the Banque du Liban: All officials were aware of the inevitability of lifting subsidies, and the alternative is compromising depositors’ money

The Governor of the Banque du Liban: All officials were aware of the inevitability of lifting subsidies, and the alternative is compromising depositors’ money

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Posted on: Saturday, August 14, 2021 – 12:44 PM | Last update: Saturday August 14, 2021 – 12:44 PM

Central Bank of Lebanon Governor Riad Salameh confirmed that all concerned in the Lebanese state were aware of the inevitability of the decision to lift fuel subsidies, including the government, the Presidency of the Republic and the House of Representatives, noting that the alternative to this decision was the adoption of a law to finance imports from the mandatory reserve at the Banque du Liban, which is The obligatory value of the money of depositors in banks, which is handed over to the Central Bank.

Salameh said – in radio statements this morning, Saturday – that “some people pretend that he took a unilateral decision to lift the subsidy, while the central council of the bank is the owner of the right to approve policies and is obligated to abide by them… and the central council is not stubborn in taking decisions, evidence that it approved yesterday.” Financing the import of medicines, especially intractable and chronic ones, flour and diesel for bakeries and hospitals.

He stressed that the decision to lift fuel subsidies was not taken to challenge anyone or to carry out any political coup, as some have repeated, or to obstruct the formation of the government that has not been formed for more than a year, pointing out that the matter boils down to the fact that the Banque du Liban is not ready to spend the money of the Lebanese except by a law that grants it This authority.

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Salameh added, “If the use of the mandatory reserve or mandatory investments with the Central Bank exceeds the order line, there will be a violation of the law, and therefore the Central Bank is forced to stop financing these credits and give an alternative.”

He continued, “It is unacceptable that Lebanon imports fuel worth 820 million dollars in a month, and yet there is a severe shortage of diesel, gasoline and electricity… and the financing of the support goes to the merchants and they do not deliver the goods to the markets,” calling for the bank not to be held responsible.

He also stressed that the dollar would be sold through the official exchange platform, indicating that he had written to the government several times a year ago, warning against reaching certain levels of decline in reserve levels.

He believed that the government had to anticipate matters and do what required not to reach the status quo, noting that the representatives of the Banque du Liban in the meetings of the House of Representatives that were discussed with the financing card, demanded that the law stipulate the use of mandatory investment to finance imports to no avail.