On Wednesday, February 15, 2017, the Board of Directors of the Association of Banks in Lebanon held an extraordinary meeting at ABL headquarters in Saifi-Beirut, to discuss the tax proposals included in the 2017 draft budget and its impact on the economy and the banking sector. At the end of the meeting, the Board issued the following press release:
- The Association of Banks congratulates the Predident Aoun and its new government's insistence on approving the preliminary draft of the 2017 budget and closing the file of accounts accumulated since 2005. This involves a lot of positivity, the most important of which is the necessary return and mandatory compliance with public finance management rules, and shows the determination of the competent authorities to control and rationalize expenditure and to improve the collection of public revenue in accordance with the specific priorities and objectives that will stimulate growth and rectify the State’s finance.
- Lebanon has suffered for several years from a slowdown in economic growth. It is therefore natural that the question of promoting economic activity should be at the forefront of the concerns of official authorities, economic bodies and citizens. This requires efforts that need time for their completion. The implementation of new tax burdens during this phase of crisis can only have a negative impact on the objective of improving the required growth, the inflow of foreign capital investment, the reduce of the balance of payment’s deficit, and on creating new jobs for the youth, and therefore to raise the citizens’ standard of living.
- The Association of Banks in Lebanon must warn of the dangers arising from the preliminary draft budget of 2017 and its new proposed taxes; some of which selectively target the banking sector. The ABL will present a Memorandum on this subject to the concerned authorities and will meet with the relevant officials to address this issue.