NNA - Caretaker Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, chaired a meeting devoted to the fuel crisis, The meeting was attended by Minister Raymond Ghajar, Director General of General Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, Director General of Oil at the Ministry of Energy, Aurore Feghali, PM Advisor, Khodor Taleb, Acting Director General of Customs, Raymond Khoury, Head of Foreign Exchange and International Operations Department at Banque du Liban, Naaman Naddour, Assistant Director General of Oil, Zaher Sleiman, Gas Station Owners Syndicate Member, George Brax, representative of fuel distributors, Fadi Abou Chakra, Chairman and CEO of Berytech, Maroun Chammas, Chairman of Beirut Bar Association’s Energy Committee, Tony Issa, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of "Liquigas", Oscar Yammine.
After the meeting, the Minister of Energy stated, “We deliberated on the causes of the gasoline crisis, and it turned out that the main reason behind gasoline shortage is smuggling out of Lebanese territory due to the difference in prices between Lebanon and Syria. The price of 20 liters of gasoline in Lebanon is 40,000 LBP, while the official price in Syria is stands at 140,000 Syrian pounds, and at 240,000 pounds on the black market. The Syrian market’s need for gasoline drives Lebanese smugglers to sneak in gasoline into Syria to achieve huge profits, given that this material is subsidized by the Lebanese state for Lebanese citizens. The solution lies in regulating the price of gasoline, and subsidies will not be lifted until the adoption of the ration card as part of the rationing plan. Citizens have rushed to buy and store gasoline for fear of lifting subsidies, and this is unjustified, for the government will not lift subsidies any time soon. We ask security forces and the Lebanese army to strengthen controls at official and non-official borders to limit smuggling. " ----Press Office of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers