The Parliamentary Finance and Budget Committee continued the examination of the 2024 budget proposal on Monday.

Following the meeting attended by caretaker Minister of Finance Youssef Khalil, committee president

stated, “We refused to increase taxes because people are not in a position to pay.”

He emphasized that the committee reviews each section of the text, adding, “Our objective is to carry out our work and rectify as many shortcomings and errors as we can in the disastrous 2024 budget.”

Denouncing the ongoing practice of smuggling and highlighting Lebanese citizens’ inability to access their bank savings, while noting a growth rate close to zero, Kanaan underscored, “It is for these reasons that the committee rejected the new taxes outlined in the 2024 budget.”

He remarked that “governments are accountable for the projects they submit to Parliament,” lamenting the fact that he might “receive phone calls from government members to modify articles drafted by the government.”

He further stated that “it is not permissible to randomly impose taxes within the budget framework, which is why we rejected the increases.”

Regarding the draft law related to bank restructuring, Kanaan pointed out that the government has just announced its approval in the Council of Ministers, indicating that it has not yet been forwarded to the Chamber. Finally, he reiterated his rejection of the figures presented by the government, calling for an audit of the state’s and banks’ assets by a reputable international firm.