Minister Khalil: There are some serious indicators regarding Lebanon’s growth rate.

29 August 2018
Minister Khalil: There are some serious indicators regarding Lebanon’s growth rate.
Seklaoui: Over 6 years we supported 173 developmental projects in Lebanon

Minister Khalil: There are some serious indicators regarding Lebanon’s growth rate.

“There is an urgent need to speed up the formation a cabinet that can enhance the economic and social situation and launch major developmental projects”
Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil warned on Thursday of “serious indicators” related to the growth rate, deficit and public debt and the implications on Lebanon with respect to the promised projects at the international level in case the phase of stagnation remained the same.

While sponsoring an event hosted by La Regie Libanaise de Tabacs et Tombacs aimed at providing a number of municipalities with developmental grants, he stressed the urgent need of speeding up the formation a cabinet (…) that can accelerate the decision-making process in order to enhance the economic and social situation and launch major developmental projects.

Meanwhile, the Director General of Regie Engineer Nassif Sekaloui provided, in the presence of Minister Khalil, 14 municipalities from the South, North and Bekaa with the mentioned grants as part of the sustainable development project launched by Regie.

In his speech, Minister Khalil said: This is one of the distinguished points and features of the relations between government institutions and civil society organizations and also between municipalities and mayors (mukhtars) in particular. It is a pioneering experiment in transforming the available resources of one institution into a real developmental work within the framework of a strategy that was approved after being scientifically prepared at Regie and after garnering the required budget approval from the administration.

He also stated that “a lot of people consider that the work of Regie is only related to selling and receiving tobacco products and managing the import and export of tobacco products; whereas this institution has proved that it can develop its work to reach the level of efficient and real participation in the sustainable development at the level of the entire country.”

Minister Khalil added that Regie always has plans aimed at developing the institutions and the contribution and participation with various local organs.

On another note, Minister Khalil mentioned that the necessities of municipalities and towns nowadays are enormous and such projects alone are not enough, but when they are proposed and implemented by a side that is not directly responsible of supporting the municipalities, then this contribution is more important and has greater value than any other initiative.

“We know that the municipal challenges are overwhelming and the municipalities are facing a lot of problems with regards to funding their projects but the Ministry of Finance is committed to pay periodically the financial incomes of the mobile phones, and whenever we receive the first payment from the Ministry of Telecommunications, we will directly transfer it to the municipalities, without allowing any delays.”

The minister also said: “The municipal dues from the Independent Municipal Fund that are accumulated from 2017 will be paid between October and November and we are also committed to transfer them directly to the municipalities.”

In this regard, he reminded that the mentioned issues are part of the responsibilities of political leaders in the country, stressing that “the major challenge we currently face is the stability and regularity of the political situation in the country and the functioning of institutions.”

In this context, he emphasized the importance of speeding up the formation of a cabinet capable of meeting the necessities of the people and prioritizing these necessities so it can take the right decisions aimed at enhancing the economic and financial situation that will eventually lead to more developmental projects; thus, will improve the economy, increase the investments and increase the growth.

“Should we remain in the same situation as now, we then stand before serious indicators with respect to the growth level in the country compared to the large commitments and our deficit and the proportion of our debt and also with respect to the promised projects at the international level; whether Cedar Conference or other commitments prepared by the Lebanese government in cooperation with other supporting international organs.”

Regarding the 14 projects funded by Regie, Khalil said that they are factors of assistance that give a key-role to municipalities that do not have a stable financial situation, stressing that these projects cover various agricultural, educational, and environmental aspects as well as aspects related to each town solely.

Wrapping his speech, the minister assured that “Regie will always conduct projects as such and will always allocate budgets aimed at increasing the number of beneficiaries in the upcoming years.”

In turn, Engineer Seklaoui said that Regie provided assistance over the past 6 years for 173 projects across Lebanon; in the North, South and Bekaa, stressing that supporting the projects of municipalities is one of the priorities within the framework of Regie’s Sustainable Development Plan.

In this regard, he emphasized that projects varied between establishing libraries, irrigation pools, wells, social halls and public parks; pointing out that they all serve the better interest of the society and the farmers.

“These projects will continue thanks to the confidence that we have received from Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and the sponsorship of Minister Ali Hassan Khalil. Today we have put in place a mechanism to follow up closely on these projects and to ensure their effectiveness and their benefit on the society.”

Seklaoui vowed that the municipal support project will cover 358 municipalities in towns that plant tobacco and tombac, reiterating his promise to contribute to the real development of the society.

It is worth noting that these projects include constructing a sewage reservoir in Naqoura, purchasing a pick-up truck to collect garbage in Mazraat El-Shouf, purchasing water tanks and a bobcat in Aita El-Jabal, establishing irrigation canals in Telhmira, purchasing a pick-up and a bobcat in Eiat, reconstructing and paving an agricultural road in Douris, establishing irrigation canals in Amara, building a social hall in Rihaniyeh, paving an agricultural road in Barish, purchasing an electricity generator in Srifa,  asphalting an agricultural road in Adchit/Marjayoun, continuing the construction of a social hall in Al-Hissa, paving agricultural roads in Qlayaa, and supplying the artesian well of Aita El-Shaab with solar energy.
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