Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil accomplished the state’s 2014 budget draft-law in an attempt to control the government’s spending.
“The budget draft-law is an urgent need to control the state’s spending,” Khalil said in comments published in As Safir newspaper on Thursday.
The minister explained that the expenditures are based on the 2013 local financial status, stressing that the state will not impose new taxes on the people.
“If the state remains without a budget we will have to encounter huge risks,” Khalil told the daily.
The newspaper said that budget deficit for 2014 is estimated to be L.L.7,670 billion (34.9%) in comparison to last year’s L.L.6,150 billion (26%).
“The budget deficit increased from 9% in 2013 to 10.71 in 2014, which reflects a negative image concerning the country’s credit rating.”
Fitch, Standard and Poors and Moody’s rating agencies had downgraded Lebanon’s rating in 2013, citing political uncertainties, spill-overs from the Syrian conflict on economic performance and slow growth prospects.
Fitch Lebanon’s credit rating was affirmed at ‘B’, while S&P rates the country ‘B-‘ and Moody’s has the nation above Fitch at ‘B1’. All with negative outlook.