Report on Lebanese Telecom Law Due Soon
The seven-minister Lebanese committee set up two months ago to examine the draft telecom law will be ready to present its findings in the next two weeks, the Daily Star reported.
A source at the Lebanese Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPT) was quoted by the daily as saying that “the committee is discussing different amendments that the ministers have suggested to the comprehensive law, which aims to liberalize the telecoms sector before privatization.”
He said that the committee was under pressure not to delay its findings, because Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is keen to press ahead with privatization.
Hariri would like to see proceeds from at least a partial sell-off reach the Treasury as soon as possible, although the 2001 budget does not include potential revenues from privatization.
According to the paper, the privatization is seen as a potentially lucrative source of cash for the state, which is straining under a $24 billion debt.
Under the draft law, the Lebanese Telecoms Ministry and Ogero, the state-owned fixed-line telecoms operator, would be merged into a new entity called LibanTelecom, which would be state-owned but managed as a private company. LibanTelecom would also become the country's third cellular operator – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)