Minister Ali Hasan Khalil speaks with Prime Minister Saad Hariri during a Cabinet session in Beirut, Monday, March 12, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The modest reforms in the 2018 budget could encourage the countries participating in the Paris IV donor conference to provide Lebanon with billions of dollars of soft loans to rebuild infrastructure, but full economic recovery still needs drastic measures to boost revenues and cut waste, economists said Tuesday.This bill has streamlining and cost cutting measures," Barakat said.He added that the Cabinet had cut the projected budget by $1.1 billion.We need more fiscal adjustment efforts in the years to come which should focus on further spending rationalization and improving resource mobilization," Barakat said.He reiterated that there is an estimated $4.2 billion of uncollected taxes in Lebanon, which is equivalent of 8 percent of GDP.The public administration is too weak to carry the task of ending tax evasion in Lebanon," Diebah said.He estimated that the government can generate an additional $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion in revenues if it raises taxes on profits to 25 percent.Echoing similar views, economist Ghazi Wazni said that the 2018 budget lacked serious reforms.
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