A lebanese policeman stands guard in front of the Finance Ministry in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Taxes proposed by the Finance Ministry are coming under mounting criticism from economists, bankers and businesses who are warning that these measures would add more burden on citizens and the struggling economy.One of the vocal opponents of the taxes, which are aimed at financing a public salary increase, was the Association of Banks in Lebanon, which issued a statement urging the government to look for other ways to increase state revenues.Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil has proposed a series of taxes in his draft budget, such as increasing the value added tax from 10 to 11 percent, increasing taxes on the interest of deposits from 5 to 7 percent, increasing taxes on companies' profits from 15 to 17 percent, placing a 15 percent tax on profits from real estate transactions and implementing a 4 percent fee on the import of kerosene.Some economists and bankers fear that increasing taxes on interest on deposits would dissuade the investors and Lebanese expats from sending remittances to Lebanon.They added that increasing taxes on interest of deposits from 5 to 7 percent represents a 40 percent increase.
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