Lebanon’s telecoms services tariffs will be significantly raised on 1 July as part of a new plan for the sector passed by cabinet on Friday. The country’s two state-owned mobile operators Alfa and Touch will raise their rates fivefold in local currency, while fixed telephony and broadband provider Ogero will increase its charges by an average of 2.5 times across its service range. L’Orient Today writes that the new rates will be a substantial burden on a population that has endured two years of economic crisis, in which locally-denominated wages have lost most of their value, but Telecommunications Minister Johnny Corm said the move is vital to return the sector to profitability and prevent networks from shutting down.
As of Sunday, Najib Mikati’s government entered caretaker status and has limited decision-making power. It will remain in caretaker status until a newly elected Parliament agrees on a new government, which past Lebanese experience shows could take months. An economic recovery plan and ‘financial sector rehabilitation strategy’ were approved by the cabinet on Friday at its final session before entering caretaker status, L’Orient Today noted.