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Cabinet Raises Fines for Tax Evasion

May 14

Cabinet Raises Fines for Tax Evasion

In its evening meeting which extended until after midnight, the Cabinet convened under the chairmanship of Premier Saad Hariri and discussed the tax articles, said Information Minister Jamal al-Jarrah.

“It was a long today but we thoroughly discussed the tax articles. Decisions were taken on some articles, for example reducing the registration fees of motorcycles. As you know, most motorcycles are not registered due to the high fees of registration. These fees were reduced to the minimum to encourage people to register their motorcycles,” said Jarrah after the meeting which ended at 2:00 am.

“Also, the state’s contribution to free schools has become subject to the supervision of Educational inspection. Fines for tax evasion have been raised to control tax collection. We also raised the fees slightly on work permits for foreigners. This does not affect the Lebanese, but the foreigners who get work permits in Lebanon. We also reduced the state’s contribution to public institutions between 10 to 50 for some institutions in order to control their expenses,” added the Minister.

Jarrah noted “there are decisions that need legal drafting on investment promotion, especially in information and communications technology. We raised the fees on planes landing at Beirut airport, in line with the rest of the airports in the world or the region. These are the most important issues. Some points need legal drafting and there will be another meeting at noon to continue the discussions.”

Jarrah was asked why hasn’t the Cabinet discussed the issue of reducing the salaries of ministers, MPs and presidents, and why is the issue of public sector being postponed.

He said: “We did not discuss the salaries because we want to see first how much the measures we have taken so far will reduce the deficit. The issue needs more in-depth discussions to decide on it. All the tax measures we have taken and the reduction of spending in ministries and state institutions are significant reductions. For the first time we are being harsh concerning budget cuts to see their financial results and in light of them we will take decisions.”