THE LAUNCH OF THE L.N.D.P.
I am sure that nobody will disagree with me if I assert that all the citizens of this country are
somewhat dissatisfied with the way things are going on, in Lebanon, at the present time. Each
one of these four and a half million individuals may have his/her own opinion on how to remedy to
that situation and make things better for all.
Unfortunately, few have taken the initiative to communicate these views to others and prefer to
rely on the Authorities to come up with the “magic solution” and the “magic cure” that will solve all
our problems. They seem to forget that such an attitude has been the norm in our country for the
past seventy years with the results that we contemplate nowadays.
It is, for these reasons, that our NGO, CPI the Lebanese Center for public information, has
decided to publish the following proposals for all to see and judge. Many will conclude, after
reading these pages, that we are mere idealists who live in “la la land” and ignore the hard
I refer these skeptics to the last slides in this web site that is entitled “YES WE CAN!”. In our
view, sooner or later, the Authorities in this country will have to go through that path or a similar
one. So why not now, instead of later, when it will be harder and costlier, not for them, because
they will have departed by then, but for the remaining four and a half million citizens who will be
left "holding the pot".
Lebanon 1993- 2013
the missed opportunities
Before we set to reform our current policies and improve the overall performance of Lebanon’s
Public Administration, we need to cast a hard look at the events of the past twenty years. That
period started with the legitimate intent of reconstructing the country at the end the civil war. The
mission was successfully completed, within the norms standards, and budgets that were initially
set up. A book, entitled “Lebanon rebuilt, 10 years of achievement 1992-2002” that was
prefaced by Prime Minister Rafic Hariri himself, provides an overview of the achievements and
the costs that were incurred. Unfortunately, that commendable realization was subsequently
marred by some fundamental errors in financial policy that we shall revert to subsequently. The
two decades that elapsed from 1993 to date were marked by the following upheavals, errors
A string of political crisis and foreign interferences in our country that were fuelled and
aggravated by perennial dissensions among the various religious communities and an
unceasing infighting between two opposing political blocs.
A pervading climate of corruption that has crept, within Lebanese society and throughout our
entire Public Administration.
Some erroneous fiscal and financial policies that were applied by the Authorities These
policies, that unfortunately, remain unchanged today, have resulted in an unnatural growth of
Lebanon’s Public Debt that grew, from the original reconstruction cost of seven billion dollars
stated above, to the current amount of $65 billion US dollars. This huge increase is due to the
accumulation, over twenty years, of unpaid compound interest on the original loan, as shown in
the successive yearly reports of the Ministry of Finance..
The lack of a clear long term vision demonstrated by our successive governments coupled with
a near total absence of a firm and solid governance policy.
To reverse this negative trend and set the country on the path of social justice and economic
development, we would have to start by drawing up a clear and detailed short-term socio-
economic plan and agree upon some new fiscal and debt management policies for the country.
Furthermore, a clear cut anti-corruption agenda ought to be put in place at the earliest possible
If we wish to avoid falling, once more, into the same trap, all these programs ought to be, from
the start, unanimously endorsed and supported by the political parties and the religious
communities. They should be subsequently validated and approved in Parliament by the
majority of the deputies. Finally, an implementation procedure should be initiated and strictly
adhered to. It should provide for an independent periodical monitoring of the performance of the
Authorities. Civil society must be allowed to take part in the monitoring process..
THE TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. WHAT are the problems that we face now in Lebanon?
In this section we briefly review the events of the past two decades. We also
consider our current situation, and the consequences of failing to implement some
2. WHAT is the L.N.D.P., and WHY do we need it?
The L.N.D.P. (The Lebanese National Development Plan) is a document that
describes in details Lebanon’s social, economic, infrastructure, financial and
Diaspora’s policies. The Plan covers eighteen major sectors. In each sector the
authors of the Plan will seek to identify : (1) the issues that we face in Lebanon,
(2) the reforms that need to be introduced to address these issues, (3) the way to
implement these reforms, and (4) the financing that will be needed to bring the
entire project to a satisfactory conclusion.
3. HOW shall we build the L.N.D.P.?
We shall build the L.N.D.P., one sector at a time, by identifying all the related
issues, and their appropriate solutions. This work will be undertaken under the
supervision of qualified and experienced experts provided by the European Union
4.& 5. WHO will take part in this project?
The Authorities, the Experts, the Undergraduates and the Stakeholders should all
participate in building the L.N.D.P.
6. WHEN is the launch of the L.N.D.P. expected to take place?
The L.N.D.P. should be completed before the parliamentary elections scheduled to
be held in November 2014. The L.N.D.P. will serve as a yardstick to evaluate the
claims and the promises of the candidates, and to effectively gauge the
performance of the Authorities during the four years parliamentary mandate.
7 & 8. A GLIMPSE at the 6 Plans that are already formulated
The Education Plan, the Agriculture Plan, The Industry Plan, The Energy Plan,
The Water Plan, The Environment Plan.
9. THE SOLUTION to our problems lies in the adoption of some essential
reforms and the revision of our current fiscal & financial strategies. The L.N.D.P.,
once it is completed, will reveal to us the type and the extent of the contemplated
reforms, as well as the details of the fiscal and the financial strategies that we
ought to implement.
10. CONCLUSION: Twenty years of failing to reach our objectives should
not put us off. "Yes, we can!" and we shall overcome!