Joint parliamentary committees resume debate over capital control law

21 November, 2022
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Joint parliamentary committees resume debate over capital control law

Depositors and activists rallied Monday near Parliament to protest a capital control law as joint parliamentary committees discussed it today.

The committees had convened last week to discuss the law, completing six clauses. They decided to resume the talks today, Monday.

Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil dubbed the session as "a farce", while Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab said it was "productive."

The adoption of a capital control law is one of the reforms requested by the International Monetary Fund to financially help crisis-hit Lebanon, but some MPs consider it unfair to the depositors.

Depositors considered the law as "a veiled amnesty law" for "the thieves of public and private money."

Since October 2019, banks have been imposing informal capital controls, barring depositors from reaching into their dollar accounts, as well as stopping transfers, amid a severe financial crisis.

Bassil considered that some banks are still making "selective" transfers overseas because the capital control law hasn't been approved yet.

The capital control law will impose official restrictions on transfers and withdrawals.

In the past months, many armed depositors have stormed banks demanding funds from their locked savings account. The majority needed their money for urgent medical bills.

Last Tuesday, Hezbollah MP Ali Fayyad said that it is possible to make drastic amendments to the law and that his bloc will defend the depositors' rights.

Lebanese Forces MP Georges Adwan also said that his bloc will defend the depositors' right, as he voiced support for the capital control law.


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