FUEL IMPORTERS AND GAS STATION OWNERS POSTPONE STRIKE AFTER MEETING WITH HARIRI
The President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri met today with a delegation from the Association of petroleum importing companies APIC, the Syndicate of gas stations owners and the Syndicate of tankers.
After the meeting, the President of APIC, Georges Fayad, spoke on behalf of the delegation. He said: During the meeting, we addressed the issue of the dollar in relation to the import of petroleum products. We explained to Prime Minister Hariri the problem resulting from the absence of dollars. If the importer is not payed in dollars, he cannot continue to import. If companies cannot open dollar credit line, they will have to stop importing over time, creating a big problem. Prime Minister Hariri understood the problem. We told him that we are following it up with the concerned ministries and the Central Bank Governor. Everyone agrees that the problem needs a solution. But until today we have not seen any solution.
The Prime Minister promised that within 24 to 48 hours, he will meet with officials to find a solution to this issue. God willing, he will discuss the solution with us next Thursday. We will wait 48 hours to listen to his proposal.
Question: What about the strike?
Fayad: The decision has been put on hold because we will give Prime Minister Hariri 48 hours to study the issue.
Question: What steps will you take if the situation remains the same?
Fayad: The steps will come naturally. The import will stop gradually, with the stations that do not have dollars to import. There will be major problems. Those who cannot pay in dollars cannot import.
Question: The Central Bank Governor says there are dollars in banks?
Fayad: We are ready to open credit line in banks in dollars. If banks are willing to give us dollars, we have no problem. Banks are ready to open credit lines but are waiting for us to deposit dollars so they can pay the credits in dollars.
Question: There is talk about an increase in the import of petroleum fuels and that there is smuggling to Syria?
Fayad: We gave Prime Minister Hariri a list today of the quantities imported from 2015 until today, from all fuel materials. The quantities are still proportional from 2015 until today, and there is no smuggling. He asked whether there is any export of oil from Lebanon to abroad. We replied that the re-export takes place through a license called the re-export license issued by the Ministry of Energy. If this license is given, this can be seen at the customs and the ministry. The quantities exported are very little.
Hariri also chaired a meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Electricity studying Floating Storage and Regasification Unit- FSRU. Deputy Prime Minister Ghassan Hasbani and ministers Ali Hassan Khalil, Mohammad Fneish, Wael Abu Faour, Youssef Fenianos, Jamal Jarrah, Adel Afiouni, Camille Abu Suleiman and Nada Bustani and the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers Mahmoud Makiyeh attended.
After the meeting, the Minister of Energy said that they agreed to continue the discussion after the cabinet meeting this evening.
Source: National News Agencyhttps://syrianewsgazette.com/fuel-importers-and-gas-station-owners-postpone-strike-after-meeting-with-hariri/Government