Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
01:17 PM Beirut time
22 °C
Blom Index
Lebanon News
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Municipalities fear slow death from revenue deductions
A big chunk of the central government deductions will go to pay for the services of Sukleen (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
A big chunk of the central government deductions will go to pay for the services of Sukleen (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
A+ A-

BEIRUT: Municipalities from various parts areas of the country have warned that most of their development projects will be scrapped following the government’s decision to cut up to 80 percent of their annual share of revenues.

The deductions were set in motion by the Finance Ministry, and endorsed in a decree passed by the Cabinet earlier this year. According to ministry officials, the cuts in the municipalities’ share of revenues this year were a normal legal and financial procedure based on their respective debts to the state treasury.

“A deduction of 80 percent from revenue shares of the municipalities will stop the development projects and all the services that the municipalities had initially promised and planned in their budgets that were passed in September 2012,” a group of mayors from Baabda and Metn said in a statement this week.

“None of these deductions were taken into account when the budgets were passed,” added the mayors, representing municipalities that fall in Beirut’s suburbs, such as Ghobeiri, Shiyah and Hazmieh.

A large chunk of the funds, amounting to LL417 billion ($278 million), will go to the treasury to pay the municipalities’ dues to state-administered projects and to cover the expenses of Sukleen, a private firm contracted by the state to keep the streets of the capital and Mount Lebanon free of garbage.

The disbursement of a further $1.2 billion is still being negotiated among the Interior, Telecoms and Finance ministries. The $1.2 billion is an approximate sum of the revenues accumulated from the telecoms sector since 1994.

Zghorta Mayor Tony Suleiman, quoted in an interview with a news website, said the government deducted approximately LL300 million from his town’s share of revenue “under the pretext that we have debts and we have to pay for the electricity sector and garbage collecting.”

“Such a deduction from Zghorta, which has an annual budget of LL700 million to support 25 towns, will make the continuity of its work almost impossible,” Sleiman said.

“How can we pay the salaries of the municipality employees and ensure the towns remain clean and safe?” Suleiman asked, predicting the move would have negative social, economic and developmental repercussions.

Criticizing the deduction, Metn MP Ibrahim Kanaan told The Daily Star the state treasury was getting “bigger and bigger” at the expense of the municipalities across the country, arguing that the municipalities would go bankrupt if the trend continued.

“This year the deduction was 80 percent. What if it becomes 100 percent next year?” Kanaan said.

But Finance Ministry spokesperson Violette Khairallah called most of the criticism against the deductions “baseless,” saying: “I think Mr. Kanaan has not read the decree correctly; he has read it upside down.”

“Not all municipalities saw 80 percent deductions; the cuts they received depended on how much they owe.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 27, 2013, on page 3.
Home Lebanon News
municipalities / Lebanon

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
More from
Van Meguerditchian
Total of 706 candidates to run for Parliament
New poll body short on time to prepare for June 16 elections
Poll registration at ministry ‘a mess’
Berri to call for session to extend Parliament’s term
Consensus still elusive in vote law quest

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Tuesday April 15, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
The presidential chess game has begun
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
China moves to the scary side of its boom
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS