An agreement has been reached between a number of ministries and the central bank on subsidizing 300 items of essential foodstuffs and raw material.
Speaking at a press conference at the Grand Serail alongside ministers and Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh, Economy Minister Raoul Nehme said the central bank will subsidize the items at an exchange rate of LBP 3,900.
“The items will be fully subsidized,” the minister clarified.
According to a leaked list of the items, red meat is among the subsidized items.
“We will monitor prices and follow up on the information that we obtain. Violators will be penalized through being deprived of subsidization, their names will be blacklisted and they will be referred to the judiciary,” Nehme added.
He said the aim behind the broad list of subsidized items is “securing the majority of essential goods to citizens at low prices and boosting the purchase power.”
Agriculture Minister Abbas Mortada meanwhile said that the foodstuffs package can be adjusted to cater to the needs of low-income citizens.
Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh for his part said that the central bank “has a vision to unify all (dollar) exchange rates,” adding that “the LBP 1,500 rate will remain valid for (the import of) medicine, wheat, fuel and essential goods.”
He also reiterated that the central bank “has nothing to do with the black market.”