Proposed measures to reduce an "economic catastrophe" resulting from country shut down

The Lebanese National Bloc party proposed a number of banking and governmental measures to reduce the effects of an “economic catastrophe” that will be caused by the country being shut down to reduce the spread of the Corona virus. The Bloc warned of “a complete stop of the economic cycle” and “an unparalleled living crisis and security issues”.

In a statement, the Bloc expected that the economic and living repercussions of the economic crisis would worsen, especially since the October revolution exposed that the state was bankrupt. It stated that the daily losses of the general mobilization can be estimated between $110 million and $150 million.  The latest statistics showed that over 220 thousand employees have been laid off, a number that is about to explode with the expected closure of thousands of businesses soon.

The Bloc noted that most countries have taken measures to safeguard their economies, like central banks providing liquidity and multi-billion dollar governmental subsidies for businesses; while it expressed regret about the parties/sects crimes over the last 30 years against the public’s money, now that the Central Bank and the government in general are completely unable to create any additional liquidity to support the economy.  This is a reality that is widely understood, however, it does not justify a lack of action in order to thwart the economic catastrophe that is sure to happen now that the economic cycle has come to a complete stop. It will be an economic catastrophe that will have an effect on the living conditions and the security situation in the country.

Therefore, the Bloc has recommended a set of procedures for the banks and the government to apply, and attached with the recommendations an annex detailing possible reductions to the public budget to cover the cost of these procedures:

  1. Banks:
  • Reinstituting the financial facilities to businesses that have been stopped for the past 5 months.
  • Giving a grace period to all loan installments to individuals and businesses, specifically housing loans. It is worth noting here that the Central Bank has taken action to address these two issues.
  • Reissuing loans to secure raw materials for the food and medical industries in cooperation with the Central Bank.
  • Reducing interest rates and prolonging repayment periods.
  • Reducing the administrative costs of managing accounts.


  1. Government:
  • Expediting negotiations with the “World Bank” to obtain soft loans that cover the “National Program to Support Poor Families”, and to combat extreme poverty through the implementation of the “Afaal” program proposed by the National Bloc.
  • Allocating $50 million for the purpose listed above, and using the lists of poor families available to the presidency of the Parliament and the Ministry of Social affairs, and updating those lists.
  • Exempting businesses from taxes and fees (Vehicle inspection, VAT, income tax on employees, etc...) and not just postponing tax payment as was recently decided by the Minister of Finance.
  • Exempting citizens and the self-employed from income tax with the exception of those high incomes that can be determined due to its effect on purchasing value and the practice of professions.
  • Exempting businesses from paying social security contributions. Protecting the Social Security institution by expediting government payment of its dues, which are estimated to be at least one billion and 867 million dollars.
  • Reducing the electricity tariffs for businesses.
  • Providing factories with fuel at preferential prices.
  • Government freeing the municipality funds, who are now bearing the brunt of the fight against the Corona pandemic.
  • Increasing price control operations, the ministry of the economy can use citizen volunteers to help with this task from a responsible citizenship stand point.


The time frame for each of the procedures will be determined based on need and availability of resources.  After conducting a quick and detailed study of the items in the above procedures we find that although they will increase the budget deficit, there are many ways to decrease expenditure to cover all the exemptions mentioned above without compromising the continuity of public utilities.

political positions