Lebanon’s cabinet imposes flat tax on imports

Endorsing a state budget that slashes the deficit is among the measures that the government has pledged to take as part of the key financial and economic reforms recommended last year.

Lebanese Economy Minister Mansour Bteish announced on Tuesday that the cabinet has approved a decision to impose a flat tax of 2 percent on some imports to protect local production, local media reported.

“We are imposing a 2-percent flat tax on imports except for pharmaceutical drugs, electric cars and equipment that are used for industrial purposes,” Bteish was quoted as saying by Elnashra, an online independent newspaper.

Bteish’s remarks came following a cabinet session held to discuss Lebanon’s 2019 state budget.

He said that the government issued this decision to protect Lebanese industries, activate its production and create job opportunities for the youths.

He added that Lebanon’s objective in the coming period is to increase its production which will influence citizens in a positive way.

“This measure will go in parallel with our fight against smuggling and tax evasion,” he said.

Local TV channel OTV reported on Tuesday evening that Lebanese Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil is expected to present the final figures of the 2019 budget on Wednesday.

Endorsing a state budget that slashes the deficit is among the measures that the government has pledged to take as part of the key financial and economic reforms recommended last year.