Lebanon - Public finance
The annual budget of the central government must be approved by the National Assembly. The Lebanese government annually faces the formidable problem of financing a massive deficit resulting from heavy financial obligations and huge shortfalls in revenues. To reduce the deficit, the government has tried to increase revenues by raising taxes and tightening the budget. The government relies heavily on grants and loans from multilateral agencies, Arab governments, and the French to cover the deficit. As a result, the country's total debt reached $28 billion in 2001, about 150% of total GDP.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 2001 Lebanon's central government took in revenues of approximately $4.6 billion and had expenditures of $8.9 billion Overall, the government registered a deficit of approximately $4.3 billion. External debt totaled $8.4 billion.
The following table shows an itemized breakdown of government revenues and expenditures. The percentages were calculated from data reported by the International Monetary Fund. The dollar amounts (millions) are based on the CIA estimates provided above.
|REVENUE AND GRANTS||100.0%||4,601|
|General public services||11.7%||1,045|
|Public order and safety||3.8%||343|
|Housing and community amenities||1.3%||119|
|Recreation, cultural, and religious affairs||0.7%||59|
|Economic affairs and services||15.9%||1,411|