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Ministerial statement to promote and protect agriculture

4-2-2020

The draft ministerial statement mentioned agriculture in two of its clauses. The first encouraged traditional agriculture, like tobacco, citrus, apples, grains and grapevine, in addition to promoting agricultural extension, rural preparedness, collaboration with the Customs to control smuggling of agricultural goods and lastly animal husbandry. The second clause involved boosting exports through support to local industries, agriculture and services, in addition to the enforcement of exceptional tax measures. In a related vein, and in its issue of January 28, An Nahar mentioned the draft law which criminalized acts of smuggling, that was sent on January 9 to the former minister of finance by the Regie to be referred to the cabinet and the legislature for approval. The spurt of events and the resignation of the previous government has, however, obstructed this, An Nahar said. According to the proposed law, any party found to import or attempt to import tobacco products by way of smuggling will be penalized by three months to three year-imprisonment and fined with LBP 1 million to 5 million. Meanwhile, the Regie chairman, Nassif Seqlawi, stood firm with the requests of a delegation of industrialists who visited him on January 28 demanding priority to domestic production in purchasing raw material for the tobacco industry. On the other hand, the new minister of agriculture, Abbas Murtada, on January 29, underlined the importance of regulating fishery and improving fishermen’s capacities, besides the strict application of protection standards and the benefits expanded to fishermen as a result of this compliance. To name some, the ban of the use of drift nets and speeding up approval of the draft bill prepared by the ministry related to aquaculture. On the same day, Murtada announced the launch of a hotline for receiving complaints by citizens, clarifying that every Lebanese can be a partner to support agricultural production and defend national economic. The hotline: 01/1664621 - 01 / 821300. (An Nahar, Al Diyar, January 28, 30 and February 3, 2020)

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