BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Lebanese parliament’s budget and finance committee will approve the 2020 budget by the end of the year and the next government must adopt it, committee head Ibrahim Kanaan said on Thursday.
Lebanon has been grappling with the worst economic conditions in decades, amid protests that prompted Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to resign on Oct. 29, leaving the country in politically deadlocked.
Kanaan said the committee must quickly finalize a budget needed to restore confidence in the country and take account of bruising economic conditions.
“Before the end of next month, the holiday season … we will have finished the debate and approval of the 2020 budget,” Kanaan said in a televised news conference. “It is not possible for the new government not to adopt this budget because when this budget is approved it will become a law.”
Kanaan said treasury revenues had been almost non-existent for the last 45 days, but assured Lebanese that public-sector salaries would be paid.
Lebanon is hoping to enact urgent economic reforms that can convince donors to disburse some $11 billion in aid pledged at a conference last year.
(Reporting by Beirut bureau; Writing by Tom Perry; editing by Larry King)