The Ministry of Finance (MoF) released the 2014 public budget draft on June 6. The draft was sent to the Council of Ministers on May 29. The budget registered a deficit of around $5 billion, or 35 percent of total expenditures.
“We sought thoroughness in enlisting all expenditures and revenues in this draft. We have added the cost of living raise to the budgets of all public administrations without the cost of the public salary scale and related modifiable taxes,” said Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil.
Public expenditures reached $14.6 billion, up by three percent. These include funds to cover debt service, totaling around $4 billion. Transfers to Electricité du Liban exceeded those earlier planned to reach $2 billion, a six percent increase. Current expenditures, forming 90 percent of total expenditures and 28 percent of GDP, amounted to $13 billion. Public salaries are account for the largest portion of the budget.
Investment expenditures formed ten percent of total expenditures, representing $1.3 billion.
Total revenues are $9.5 billion. Hassan Khalil said: “This is the first year the ministry benefits from the work of the economic analysis department since its establishment.” Taxes will generate an overall $7.3 billion.
Funds generated by other revenue sources dropped by 12.6 percent to $2.3 billion. “The drop is due to lower revenue expectations by the Ministry of Telecommunications budget.”
The MoF said it is making efforts to recalculate the public accounts. “This means that the audit of 20 financial years has been concluded,” said Hassan Khalil.