Lebanese Industrialists and Merchants Clash over Levies on Imports
The Lebanese Cabinet is unlikely to decide on wide-ranging cuts of import duties at its meeting Thursday as ministers, industrialists and merchants cannot agree on appropriate tariff levels for different types of goods, the Daily Star reported.
Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is proposing to reduce tariffs on imported raw materials to zero percent from an average of three percent at present, the paper said.
Hariri, according to the daily, wants to reduce duties on imported finished products not made in Lebanon to 5 percent from current rates of 10 percent or more.
For imported products that are also locally manufactured, he is proposing a reduction in tariffs to 15 percent.
In 1999, the Hoss government halved import duties on raw materials to three percent, saving up to $160 million in annual production costs, according to the daily, quoting former Economy Minister Nasser Saidi -- Albawaba.com
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