Author Archives: Jeremy Arbid

Ball in their court

Ball in their court

This summer, after years of procrastination, Lebanon passed a law increasing salaries for public sector workers. To help offset the salary increase, Parliament approved new taxes. But, in a surprising move, a group of parliamentarians challenged the constitutionality of the tax law in front of Lebanon’s highest court, the Constitutional Council, which ruled in their

A multilateral tale

For 12 years, Lebanon did not ratify a state budget, and politicians have never offered an adequate reason to explain why. To understand what went wrong, we need to understand the process. Who should be doing what, and when should they be doing it? What does it actually take to create and ratify a budget,

Getting the books back in order

On paper, the Lebanese state should function. The constitution—frequently ignored as it may be—envisions a rational budgetary process that allows for planning, checks and balances among different branches of government, and an annual allocation of resources based on anticipated needs. In simple terms, every year the government should ask Parliament for the legal authority to

A marriage of convenience

After a nearly decade-long wait, Lebanon’s legislature finally ratified a law encouraging private-sector investment in public infrastructure. The new framework for public-private partnerships (PPP) could allow the private sector to deliver some public services at lower prices than those currently available, says Peter Mousley, the program leader for trade and competitiveness, finance and markets, and

A partnership in risk

This summer, Lebanon ratified a new law enabling the government and private sector to share risk in investing, building, and operating infrastructure projects. The legal framework, known as a public-private partnership (PPP), encourages companies to provide services that the government cannot afford to deliver at efficient costs to end users (see article). To understand the

Sharing the risks

A new law passed this summer could help facilitate sorely needed investment to fix the country’s infrastructure. The legislation, a framework for public-private partnerships (PPP), puts into law new options for sharing risks between companies and the government when investing in, building, and operating new public works. Ziad Hayek, secretary general of the Higher Council

Going shades of green

Lebanon could license the construction of nearly 380 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy plants as early as this summer, a Ministry of Energy and Water (MoEW) official tells Executive. This would mean a rise in generation capacity of just over 20 percent — a far cry from satisfying the country’s demand for power. This clean

Finally, some clarity

After deliberating for much of 2017, Parliament met in late July to ratify new taxes. The legislation then sat on the desk of President of the Republic Michel Aoun for nearly a month, while he contemplated whether or not to sign the taxes into law. In late August, he finally inked his name, briefly ending

Taxation’s redistribution effect

Alain Bifani, director general of Lebanon’s finance ministry, tells Executive that newly enacted taxation will shore up revenue in the public coffer. During an interview at the end of August (before the constitutional court froze the new tax measures) Bifani detailed the tax measures and discussed their impact on segments of the population and on

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