SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 20 October 2021, Wednesday |

When will the humiliation queues end, subsidy on gasoline be lifted?

The Head of the Lebanese Pharmaceutical Importers Association (LPIA) Karim Gebara said that “the majority of the medicines are still subsidized, while the remaining third is not.”

Gebara explained that “the dollar exchange rate approved by the Ministry of Health for pricing unsubsidized medicines incurs financial losses for importers. This reality is obstructing the import process, and causing a harsh shortage in some types of medicine in the market.”

He said: “The Central Bank started granting approvals for importing medicine and paying previous dues from late August. Therefore, shipments loaded with medicines began entering Lebanon, including cancer medicines.” He added that there is need to find a regular mechanism to secure medicines.

What is the latest about the gasoline crisis, when will subsidies be lifted, and will the humiliation queues disappear soon?

To answer these questions, we had a phone call with the Head of the Syndicate of Owners of Gas Station Fadi Abu Chakra.

The Secretary-General of the Union of Arab Banks, Wissam Fattouh, indicated that “the total financial flows of remittances from expatriates to Lebanon amounted to $6.3 billion during 2020, which represents 11.5 percent of the total remittances to the entire Arab region.”

Fattouh said that “Lebanon was ranked first among the Arab countries in terms of remittances per capita, which amounted to $923 per person. Remittances to Lebanon accounted for 37 percent of GDP according to the black market exchange rate,” adding that it also ranked first among Arab countries in terms of diversity in the sources of expatriate remittances due to the wide spread of Lebanese expatriates around the world.