The capital control law will be discussed tomorrow, Wednesday, in Cabinet, as it was rejected in a joint parliamentary committees’ meeting on Monday.
“It will be discussed in Cabinet, passed and referred to Parliament,” PM Nicolas Nahhas said.
The committee members asked Cabinet to present a better version to Parliament, criticizing its form and its content. Deputy Speaker Elie Ferzli who chaired the joint committees meeting said the law should be “coherent” and should “prioritize the depositors’ rights.”
Nahhas said the PMs expressed their personal opinions, but “this does not necessarily mean that the blocs they represent in Parliament will reject the law.”
While Parliamentary sources reportedly considered that it is very unlikely to issue the law before the Parliament elections in May, other sources told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that it is possible.
Since October 2019, banks have been imposing informal capital controls, barring depositors from reaching into their dollar accounts, as well as stopping transfers, amid a severe financial crisis.
The capital control draft law that was rejected by the parliamentary committees, proposes forming a committee that includes the prime minister, a number of ministers, and the central bank governor. The committee would take all the decisions related to the transfers, withdrawals, exchange rates and ceilings, Asharq al-Awsat said.
Meanwhile, al-Liwaa newspaper said Tuesday that the capital control draft law was distributed to the ministers on Monday night.
It added that ministerial sources questioned if the delay in distribution was intentional, considering that it was “imposed” at the last minute and that the ministers weren’t given enough time to go through its details, in order to discuss it tomorrow in Cabinet.
Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh won’t attend the Cabinet session on Wednesday in Baabda, the daily went on to say.