Kanaan Declares Budget Approval, Suspension of Defaulting Loans Penalties


The head of the Finance Parliamentary Committee MP Ibrahim Kanaan on Thursday announced that the committee has approved the 2020 state budget, slashing expenses worth LBP 1,000 billion from the draft devised by the government.

“The surplus secured in the budget will provide the needed funds for the health care of 12,000 self-registered social security beneficiaries,” Kanaan said after a meeting for the committee with caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh and Association of Banks chief Salim Sfeir.

“We discussed the issue of cash withdrawals and we were not convinced with the answers of the banking sector and we will follow up on the issue in a manner that respects the right of the people to get their salaries,” Kanaan added.

“The Finance Committee has recommended that it is necessary to facilitate bank transfers to students studying abroad in order to pay their tuitions and requirements,” the MP went on to say.

Revealing that financial concerns pushed depositors to withdraw $6 billion from banks, Kanaan noted that a committee has been tasked with communicating with the central bank and its Special Investigation Commission to follow up on the issue of the suspected transfer abroad of $6.5 billion by a number of politicians.

Moreover, Kanaan said the Finance Committee approved the suspension of penalties on “defaulting housing, agricultural and industrial loans” in the six-month period that follows the publishing of the budget in the official gazette.

“We have approved increasing securities on deposits from LBP 5 million to LBP 75 million, which would positively affect and protect small depositors,” the MP added.

“We have imposed inspection on all institutions and prior inspection on grants and loans,” Kanaan went on to say, noting that the committee has suggested “the direct transfer to the treasury of the revenues generated from the mobile telecom sector.”



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