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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Lebanon needs fiscal framework, strategy for fixing banking sector

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WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund is committed to helping Lebanon implement needed reforms, but the country still needs a coherent fiscal framework and a credible strategy to rehabilitate its banking sector, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said.


Georgieva, speaking at a video conference hosted by France, said the IMF’s efforts to develop a comprehensive stabilisation and reform programme had not “gone very far” in recent months given the lack of an empowered Lebanese government, but she was encouraged by the global support being offered.


French President Emmanuel Macron told that a fund would be set up to channel aid directly to the Lebanese people, but warned there would be no international bailout without a credible new government.


The IMF managing director welcomed a framework for reforms unveiled at the conference, and said the Fund would do its part to help implement changes needed to restore solvency in public finances, repair the banking system, and strengthen governance, transparency and accountability.


“Regrettably, despite our multiple engagements at a technical level on a variety of issues over the last four months, in the absence of an empowered government we have not gone very far in advancing the preparation of a comprehensive stabilisation and reform programme,” she said.


“Importantly, a coherent fiscal framework that can restore debt sustainability is still lacking, as is a credible strategy to rehabilitate the banking system.” — Reuters


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