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Hariri Calls for Government Solidarity to Show Seriousness in Tackling the Economy

Hariri Calls for Government Solidarity to Show Seriousness in Tackling the Economy

Wednesday, 19 June, 2019 - 06:30
Hariri chairs a cabinet session at the Grand Serail on Tuesday (NNA)
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri called Tuesday on swiftly activating projects falling under the policy statement’s economic chapter to send positive signals on the government’s seriousness in addressing concerns raised over the delay in implementing such decisions.

“We can no longer continue at the same slow pace because we are all responsible for accelerating the pace and activating the economic cycle,” Hariri told ministers on Tuesday after chairing the first cabinet session held following Eid al-Fitr.

The PM said the government held 19 meetings to agree on the draft budget.

“We must work very quickly to approve the first phase of the capital investment program for which we secured a financing of $11 billion at the CEDRE conference. It is imperative that the economy reacts with the launching of this program and the positive effects that will accompany it,” Hariri said.

Ahead of the cabinet discussions, the PM told ministers that the economic and financial developments in the country all show serious concern from the markets and investors at home and abroad.

“This compels us to accelerate the pace of our decisions, on which we agreed in the ministerial statement, to indicate our seriousness and credibility in addressing this concern and the economic and financial situation,” he said.

The PM said it was the responsibility of each minister to defend in parliament the decisions that were taken in the cabinet before approving the state budget.

“I do not mean that there shouldn’t be any discussion in parliament, but I want us during this discussion to show responsibility and solidarity, and not contradict ourselves,” he said.

Hariri said the government must immediately start preparing the 2020 draft budget within the constitutional deadline “to show the continuation of the financial rectification that we committed to and which is essential for the safety of our economy and public finances.”

He added that the cabinet should also launch the economic initiatives known as the McKinsey study.

Hariri mentioned that the financial adjustment and economic reform are part of the program to which “we committed in the ministerial statement,” in addition to a part related to the quality of the basic services for the Lebanese, which means all that is related to waste, water and environment projects.

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