Economic expert Ghazi Wazni said that the government should have started discussing the 2018 draft budget in September, adding that the absence of political consensus is the mainly obstacle hindering its endorsement.
“The second challenge facing the 2018 state budget is the ongoing failure to approve the audits of the 2016 accounts. This also needs a political decision,” Wazni told the Kataeb website.
Wazni noted that the public debt is expected to rise by $300 million in 2018, in addition to global oil prices which are also set to increase by 10 to 15% which will affect the deficit of the electricity sector.
Wazni stressed that this year will also witness an increase in spending because of the upcoming parliamentary elections, warning that all of these challenges pose a threat in terms of increasing the deficit in the 2018 budget.
“The government has three months to study the budget ahead of the parliamentary polls in May,” Wazni pointed out.
“Any new government will make another draft budget, noting that it would take at least two months to form a new one after the polls. This would be another challenge to face,” he noted.