Ali Hassan Khalil

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Gemayel Renews Call for Ending Smuggling and Tax Evasion to Reduce Deficit

Kataeb leader Samy Gemayel on Thursday commented on recent remarks made by Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil regarding illegal smuggling routes, reiterating his call for ending tax evasion and smuggling in order to reduce the budget deficit. "From the beginning, we have been saying that the main gateway to reducing the deficit without resorting to tax hikes is to control smuggling through land and sea borders and to fight tax evasion by empowering the audit control bodies and enforcing the law across the entire Lebanese territory," Gemayel wrote on Twitter.

Government Begins Budget Discussions

The government on Tuesday started discussing the 2019 draft budget as discussions will keep on going this week until the blueprint is endorsed. Speaking following the meeting, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil described the talks inside the Cabinet as quiet and responsible, saying that discussions will go into details during upcoming sessions.