Lebanon’s budget deficit fell in the first four months of 2012 to 25.67 percent (LL1.6 trillion) of spending from 35.51 percent compared to the same period during 2011, the Finance Ministry said Tuesday.
The primary surplus reached LL289 billion, excluding the cost of debt servicing, compared to a surplus of LL27 billion over the same period in 2011 – an increase of LL262 billion.
The Finance Ministry has insisted on incorporatingthe revenues collected from the telecoms sector this year, despite the fact that they have not yet been transferred to the treasury.
Former Finance Minister Raya al-Hasan has rejected the legitimacy of the figures, because it is the telecoms revenues recorded by the Finance Ministry that account for the decline in the deficit.
Current Telecoms Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui, following in the footsteps of his predecessor Charbel Nahhas, has refused to transfer the telecoms revenues to the treasury on a monthly basis, claiming that the law only stipulates that the funds should be sent at the end of the year. According to the ministry the telecoms revenues up to April reached LL698.5 billion, compared to zero revenues in the same period of last year.
Total government revenues reached LL4.764 trillion, an increase of 24.42 percent during the same period in 2011.
Total government spending stands at LL6.409 trillion compared to LL5.938 trillion in the same period of last year, an increase of 7.94 percent.