The absence of authority legitimizes price fluctuations and drives the halt to the collapse of the Lebanese pound

The absence of authority legitimizes price fluctuations and drives the halt to the collapse of the Lebanese pound

The price index still breaks records monthly


Tuesday – 29 Dhu al-Qi’dah 1443 AH – 28 June 2022 AD Issue No. [
15918]


A long drive to buy bread in front of a bakery in Beirut a few days ago (EPA)

Beirut: Ali Zeineddine

The price inflation index in Lebanon recorded a new rise of 211.43 percent, bringing the cumulative outcome of the year-on-year price increase to 1178 percentage points at the end of last May, compared to a level of 378.25 points in the same month last year, indicating an expansion The imbalance in emergency treatment between the Central Bank’s ongoing efforts to curb the collapse of the lira exchange rate, and the inability of the ministries and public administrations involved to stop the explicit evasion of the consumption system.
And according to a monitoring conducted by “Middle East” with store managers and traders in the markets, it was found that the price base for most food and goods maintains the highest levels of cash exchange near the threshold of 40,000 pounds per dollar, mainly strengthened under the pretext of high supply bills from importers and the continued rise in transport and supply prices Electricity from private generators in connection with the steady rises in fuel prices, in addition to pump increases on workers’ wages, transport allowances and other administrative and logistical costs.
On the other hand, importers attribute their high bills to the effects of global inflation, which includes most commodities and commodities, and the contraction in supply in their primary markets due to significant increases in volume demand, and the increasing supply problems. and supply chains, as well as the increasing increases in international transport, energy and oil prices, which contribute costs Balance on import price systems.
Only consumers do not have definitive answers. According to a field survey, they are content with a bit of securing their daily needs, and most of them are completely incapable of discovering the typical “equation” to achieve parity between the eroding income capabilities in lira and the deteriorating minimum life month after month, in the midst of almost unanimity, and until the appalling conditions change, on the saying “No.” Life and no shame for a government we call on. Rather, we have reached the stage of self-government of most public services, each according to its capabilities, such as electricity, water, education, health, hospitalization, and others. .
It is noted that the lack of action of the regulatory agencies and the meager human and technical capabilities of institutions and departments for tracking commercial profit rates and consumer protection contribute to driving the desired consumer impact of the dollar pump into the market by the “exchange” platform managed. by the Banque du Liban, averaging more than 30 million a day, at a cost of about 25 One thousand pounds for every dollar, taking into account that the institutions concerned, which they are reluctant to follow, nominal regulations for importers and traders can derive advantage from the platform’s operations and oblige them to transfer the dollar price differences to the benefit of consumers.
International institutions have in their latest reports not hesitated to hold the political class responsible for the whole decline of life, which seems like a serious drop in the national exchange rate, and have caused inflation rates to run into the hundreds, according to the World Bank recently. These crises exacerbated social hardships that affected poor and needy families the most, widening the gap and inequality between groups in society.
In the face of political lack of action, the unresolved crises have caused long-term damage to the economy and society in Lebanon. Basic public services are collapsing, unemployment rates are rising sharply, and human capital is being severely depleted. The private sector is suffering from severe constraints due to the paralysis of the financial system. Low corporate productivity and income generation rates have led to widespread retrenchments and bankruptcies.
According to conclusions released by Olivier de Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, 4 out of 5 residents are in poverty, and that “more than half of families reported that their children had to skip meals, and hundreds of thousands of children out of school. “
In his report released earlier this month, he pointed out that “the destructive actions of Lebanese political and financial leaders are responsible for pushing most of the country’s people into poverty, in violation of international human rights law.”
Returning to the latest price data, statistics released by the Central Administration of Statistics in Lebanon showed a monthly increase of 7.85 percent in the consumer price index in Lebanon during the month of May, compared to 7.1 percent in the previous month. Thus, the average annual increase in inflation during the first five months of this year was 216 percent, compared to the same period of the previous year.
The annual increase in the index is due to all its components that recorded an increase in their prices, as the prices of food and beverages increased by 363.78 percent (20 percent weight), accompanied by an increase in transportation prices with 515.36 percent (13.1) percent weight), and an increase in The prices of housing, water, gas, electricity and other fuels increased by 445.18 percent (heavy by 11.8 percent), and the prices of clothing and footwear rose by 184.32 per cent (heavy by 5.2 per cent), without excluding the unprecedented rise in the prices of restaurants and hotels by 278.54 per cent (weight by 2.8 per cent).


Lebanon

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