Date: May 21, 2019
Source: The Daily Star
Lebanon: Cabinet lowers deficit-to-GDP ratio to 7.6 pct
BEIRUT: Cabinet has managed to lower the deficit to 7.6 percent of the GDP in the 2019 state budget, Information Minister Jamal Jarrah announced Monday after the 16th session dedicated to studying the draft.

Jarrah said Cabinet will convene again Tuesday for the 17th and final session dedicated to the austerity budget.

“Today we finished all the articles. The numbers are clear. ... There are some simple details that will be phrased tonight and will be included in the budget tomorrow,” Jarrah said.

He said ministers also discussed reducing wages for MPs and ministers and will decide on the issue in Tuesday’s session.

Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil said early Monday morning that the 2019 state budget will reduce the deficit to 8.3 percent of the GDP or less. Reducing the country’s deficit, estimated to have stood at 11 percent of the GDP in 2018, was a key aim set out at last year’s CEDRE conference.