Lebanon Businessnews News

Public deficit increased to $4.2 billion
$2 billion
spent on electricity
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The total public deficit (budget and treasury) stood at $4.2 billion in 2013, representing 31 percent of expenditures, according to the Ministry of Finance. The deficit was $3.94 billion in 2012 representing 29.4 percent of total expenditures. “The increase was due to the drop in revenues and GDP growth. The drop in revenues, such as VAT and telecommunication revenues, has a direct impact on total revenues,” said Former Minister of Finance Jihad Azour..
The total budget and treasury revenues stood at $9.4 billion, almost unchanged.
Budget and treasury expenditures reached $13.6 billion, compared to $13.3 billion last year. The primary deficit reached $240 million. “The salary raise that was adopted increased expenditures as well as spending on many non-strategic projects, especially with the absence of a Cabinet,” said Azour.
Transfers to the electricity company (EDL) reached $2 billion.
Azour said: “The deficit will continue to increase, especially in the light of the expenditures related to the new salary scale scheme, and to the continuous regression of the growth in GDP.”
Reported by Joelle Nassar
Date Posted: Mar 26, 2014
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