Lebanon's former finance minister, Dr Jihad Azour
Beirut - Riyad Shuman
Lebanon's former finance minister, Dr Jihad Azour, in an exclusive interview with Arabstoday said the Lebanese government goes for last-minute, expensive options when dealing with certain problems. The politician was alluding to a deal where 250 new buses were bought as part of a plan to develop the national transportation service.
Azour said the government tends to apply partial procedures , which are "late, expensive and proven to be inefficient", stating that the plan supported by the World Bank "is the right choice for reforming the transportation sector".
"Solutions have been clear, but first we have to avoid making partial settlements. The transportation sector has to be restructured, and it is not necessary for the government to run this sector, as it (the government) didn't achieve success in the past. Who can ensure that the newly imported buses will not face the same destiny of the buses we imported previously, and now they are parked as scrap in the al-Abd parking area?" said Azour.
The former finance minister accused the government of lacking transparency, citing a power plan agreed by the government a year and half ago, "however the financial deficit in this sector has since reached $2bn, in addition to the poor administrative structure and the lack of enough human resources".
When asked about vehicles running on gas or diesel, Azour said: "The diesel-run vehicles causes a lot of harm to the environment, and European research proved it causes much more pollution than gasoline, while building gas stations and tanks needs massive investment...we also can't guarantee a safe way to transport gas."