Lebanon’s cash for power generation may run out at the end of March, says minister

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IslamNews – Lebanon’s energy ministry cannot pay for fuel to generate electricity beyond March unless more financing is apportioned, the cash strapped country’s caretaker Energy Minister Raymond Ghajar said Tuesday.

“We are headed toward a difficult situation, if there is no fuel there will be no electricity,” Raymond Ghajar told Reuters.

The minister said he had asked the president, the caretaker prime minister and head of parliament to approve an emergency loan for the state power company worth 1,500 billion Lebanese pounds ($996 million at the official rate) to buy more fuel.

Ghajar said earlier this month that Lebanon usually only kept enough fuel for a couple of months as it was too costly for the country to hold strategic reserves for six months.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his cabinet, who resigned after the huge Beirut port blast on Aug. 4, are acting in a caretaker role as fractious politicians have failed to agree on the formation of a new government, leaving Lebanon rudderless while swathes of the nation have been plunged into poverty.

Because it is acting in a caretaker capacity, the cabinet cannot hold sessions to approve a budget.

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