File - An employee arranges money bundles at the Central Bank in Beirut, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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The International Monetary Fund urged the Lebanese government to increase electricity tariffs and freeze the implementation of the salary scale to avoid further rise in the budget deficit.In this context, the IMF urged caution in implementing the planned salary scale adjustment for public sector employees.The IMF repeated calls to fully abide by a strict fiscal and monetary police in Lebanon in view of the harsh economic and political conditions in the country and the region.This is the first time the IMF has explicitly called on the government to reduce its dependence on the financial resources of the Central Bank which has been very instrumental in financing the public debt through the issuance of Treasury bills and Eurobonds through the commercial banks that have snapped up most of these issues.The IMF emphasized the importance of undertaking structural reforms to unlock Lebanon's growth potential and improve social conditions.The IMF reiterated its warning about the immediate economic impact of the Syrian refugees on Lebanon.
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