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Parliamentary Committees Look Into Ways to Fund Financial Aid Card for the Lebanese

Parliamentary Committees Look Into Ways to Fund Financial Aid Card for the Lebanese

Thursday, 24 June, 2021 - 10:30
A shopper walks past near-empty shelves at a supermarket in Beirut, Lebanon March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo

The approval of a financing card to provide some help to the Lebanese to buy basic commodities is still encountering some obstacles as parliamentarians are looking into ways to secure the needed funds.

Deputies of the different parliamentary blocs are yet to agree on the monthly value of the card and its funding sources, knowing that some have suggested allocating around $100 per month for a year to destitute families.

Deputy Speaker Elie Ferzli, who chaired the meetings of the joint committees on Wednesday, said that the deputies presented their observations on the financing card law and would complete the deliberations this Thursday.

Ferzli noted that the discussion has mainly focused on the funding sources and the data platform, in addition to the law that would govern the process.

The Lebanese government had submitted a draft law aimed at approving a financing card, in a preliminary step to rationalize or lift subsidies on basic commodities.

According to the government’s plan, the card is supposed to reach about 750,000 Lebanese families, and its value is estimated at millions of dollars if $93 is allocated to each family.

In comments, Lebanese Forces MP George Okais said that the financing card “is being adopted under the pressure of crises and the pain of the people.”

“Urgent and improvised reform is not the kind of reform that the Lebanese people are longing for,” he emphasized.

“Unfortunately, today we are trying to patch up our big problems without finding all the necessary solutions.”

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