| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

Salam after meeting with IMF delegation: Without passing required laws, we will fail to reach final agreement with IMF

Caretaker Economy Minister, Amin Salam, on Tuesday held a press conference after his meeting with a visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation, with whom he followed up on the details of the draft laws and the preconditions that the IMF had requested in order to reach a final agreement with Lebanon.

“In today’s meeting, we discussed all the recent developments vis-a-vis the reform laws requested by the IMF, namely the Capital Control Law, the Banking Secrecy Law, the Bank Restructuring Law, and the 2022 Budget Law. Undoubtedly, the IMF carries a very clear message, which is the urgency of approving and passing these laws. Otherwise, we will not be able to move forward to reach a final agreement with the IMF,” warned Salam.

“What we wish to clarify today is that regardless of the ambiguity of the matter, the IMF delegation has echoed a positive message, which expressed full commitment  to the agreement that started five months ago,” Salam added, noting that “the IMF has the full intention to reach a final agreement with Lebanon and has every confidence that the consultations and sessions that had taken place between the House of Parliament and the government within the past few weeks will show positive results in terms of approving the required laws.”

Salam went on to say that his discussions with the visiting IMF delegation have also touched on the country’s faltering food security.

“The are clear instructions by the IMF and the World Bank that Lebanon needs special care to achieve food security; thus, during the World Bank’s annual meeting, we will reiterate Lebanon’s need for support on the level of food security. When we talk about food security, we are talking about rebuilding a sustainable national capacity to secure the country’s strategic stock, and we are talking about fostering the development of Lebanese agricultural and educational programs as a bridge to agricultural industrialization,” Salam added.

“The IMF will consult with the World Bank so that Lebanon can benefit from the $30 billion that the fund has allocated to support food security projects worldwide, keeping in mind that the IMF has classified Lebanon as one of the first three countries in the world that can benefit from these funds,” Salam explained.

The Caretaker Minister also seized the opportunity to turn up the decibel against private generator owners, warning them of dire consequences over demanding hefty USD bills from citizens. He also affirmed that bread bundles would remain within every citizen’s reach.

  • NNA