Capital control law to be sent to Parliament: Lebanese MP

A law to regulate the transfer of capital out of Lebanon is considered one of the necessary conditions for Lebanon to access funding from the IMF to help stabilize the local currency and right Lebanon’s shrinking economy

  
Lebanese members of parliament attend a parliament session in downtown Beirut, Lebanon January 27, 2020.

Lebanese members of parliament attend a parliament session in downtown Beirut, Lebanon January 27, 2020.

REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT: A long-awaited law to control capital flight from Lebanon is ready to be sent to Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee for approval, MP Nicolas Nahas said Monday.

“The new text of the capital control law matured after adding to it some ideas and taking into consideration the comments of the International Monetary Fund,” Nahas said in an interview with Voice of All Lebanon. “It is to be submitted soon to the Finance and Budget Committee.”

A law to regulate the transfer of capital out of Lebanon is considered one of the necessary conditions for Lebanon to access funding from the IMF to help stabilize the local currency and right Lebanon’s shrinking economy.

Local banks since November 2019 have been imposing their own arbitrary capital controls on withdrawals and transfers abroad in the absence of a law to regulate these transactions. Protesters suspect that politicians are however responsible for transferring billions of dollars abroad, despite the restrictions.

On the subject of the negotiations with the IMF, which have been stalled by a lack of internal agreement on the scale of losses at Banque Du Liban and its liabilities to local banks, Nahas accused the government of lacking “foresight in this file” and not handling the matter seriously enough.

“Consensus is essential and very necessary at this stage between the government, the Finance Ministry, BDL and the Association of Banks in Lebanon, so that all of them can establish a roadmap for treatment and solution."

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