Lebanon Businessnews News

MOT transfers $44 million in past dues to municipalities
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The Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT) today transferred a part of all the municipalities’ shares from the mobile telephony revenues, totaling $44 million. This sum was accumulated from June to November 2014.

The ministry said that the Value Added Tax law has specified the share of municipalities from the revenues of telephony. The law stipulated that the MoT reimburses municipalities directly revenues from landline telephony. Revenues deriving from mobile telephony are transferred to an independent municipal fund at the Ministry of Finance (MoF), because mobile subscriptions are not collected by municipalities.

The role of the MoT is then limited to transferring the money provided from mobile telephony to the MoF, without interfering in the mechanisms of distributing it.

The MoT said that it has transferred to the MoF the mobile telephony revenues, which were suspended from January 2010 till May 2014. The ministry then transferred all sums due to municipalities since 1995, totaling $1 billion.

The MoT said that the obstacle depriving municipalities from their rights is the absence of a regulatory decree that will specify the appropriate mechanisms of distribution. The decree was prepared by the former Cabinet, but was never issued.

Minister Boutros Harb said that he is making a step forward to end this problematic situation. β€œTo put an end to this dilemma and to name the eligible ministry that has the right to handle this money, I have initiated a legal consultancy request to the Consultation and Legislation Body at the Ministry of Justice to review its point of view on this matter.”
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Dec 17, 2014
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