According to the “Lebanese National Bloc Party” recognizing mistakes and transgressions in the introduction of the 2020 draft budget would have forced the government in another country to resign. The Party pointed out that a literal recognition of the “violation of government’s agency flagrantly”, i.e. random employment, and the state's ignorance of the “size of arrears” and the lack of a “clear vision” on the number of public schools, professors and students, as well as the state’s lack of a “clear and comprehensive picture on all implemented projects”.
In a statement, the Party confirmed that the budget text also recognizes "unprecedented waste"; among the examples given are cleaning, travel, and participation in conferences costs. What is more dangerous is to pay very large amounts of up to 4 times the price agreed upon as differences to the contractors according to the Minister of Finance!
It is important to also note that in the introduction the state confesses two main sources of wasted funds which are travel and conferences’ budgets. The question is: by increasing the two sources’ budget to $720 thousand for 2019, is the state establishing any planning or guidance?
In relation to the consumption planning, the Party also inquires whether increasing the “wearing apparel” budget for the three presidencies by $140 thousand for 2019 is a sign of controlling expenditures? It is to note that the 2019 budget had allocated $400 thousand for wearing apparel!
In this context, and before all these transgressions, the Party mentions that a confession in the budget introduction that there are several files constantly “examined and funds consuming yet never tackled”. However, in order to reassure the citizens, that same introduction brings up the “need for radical procedures to put an end for corruption and wasted funds”, and that these procedures are necessary to re-establish the “trust” – a word frequently repeated.
When it comes to corruption and fighting it, the Party asked whether this fight would be by reducing the budget of all the monitoring bodies for the second year in a row (Central Inspection, Civil Service Council, Audit Bureau, and Central Administration of Statistics). The Party asked, in that same context, would restoring the trust in government be through the abstention from issuing the implementation decrees for the law to "access information", which has been endorsed since a year and a half now? Would restoring that trust be by not establishing the electricity regulatory authority, which is a condition of the "CEDRE"conference, for more than a year and a half?
The Party considered that instead of spending budget on travel and wearing apparel, it would have been better to increase the budget for the oversight bodies, highlighting that planning expenditures does not necessarily mean reducing it but rather directing it to the right place
The Party reiterated that trust is the main factor for the recovery of Lebanon's economy and the hope of improving the authorities’ performance, saying only so much on the budget despite many other shortcomings.
The Party concluded its statement by calling on the Council of Ministers and then the parliament to take necessary and easy measures for this purpose. Should those measures not be taken, let the citizens and those who voted for the “sectarian parties” know that the latters have no intention in putting an end to the waste of public money, that is the people’s money, but are pursuing in humiliating them by making them their customers.