Studies

Distribution of the independent municipal fund revenues, over the past seventeen years : LBP 4900 billion

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As the crisis of garbage intensifed and mountains of refuse piled up in the residential streets and neighborhoods resulting in a plethora of environmental and health problems, ministers and MPs raised their voices demanding the transfer of the shares due to municipalities of the Independent Municipal Fund, the telecom revenues and the water and power subscriptions in order to enable each municipality to collect, transfer and treat its own garbage. Regardless of the validity or inadequacy of this proposition as a solution for the garbage crisis, we present in this article a glimpse into the Independent Municipal Fund transfers to municipalities. As illustrated in Table 1, these transfers amounted to LBP 4,897 billion between 1997 and 2013. This large figure raises the inescapable question of how the municipalities have disposed of these funds and what were the projects they executed in exchange. In light of the answer, we may be able to gauge the ability of municipalities in providing adequate waste management services. Those municipalities that invested their funds in tangible development projects would be worthy of their IMF share and capable of waste disposal and those that squandered them on trifling matters would most likely be unfit to manage their finances and invest their IMF shares in their intended objective.

Distribution of IMF revenues to municipalities between 1997 and 2013 - Table 1
IMF revenues by year Date of distribution of revenues Value (LBP billion) Share of municipalities (LBP billion) Share of municipal unions (LBP billion) Share of the Civil Defense (LBP billion)
1997 March 1999 190 135.375 47.5 7.125
1998 - 1999 March 2000 400 285 100 15
2000 October 2000 100 90.250 5 4.750
2001 January 2003 200 171 20 9
2002 april 2004 200 171 20 9
2003 March 2005 250 213.750 25 11.250
2004 June 2006 200 178.250 15 6.750
2005 January 2008 220 193.325 16.5 10.175
2006 November 2008 290 242.440 34.800 12.760
2007 September 2009 280 234.08 33.6 12.320
2008 July 2010 300 250.8 36 13.2
2009 October 2010 400 334.4 48 17.6
2010 January 2011 468 391.248 56.160 20.592
2011 April 2014 417 348.612 50.040 18.348
2012 February 2014 490 409.640 58.8 21.560
2013 March 2015 492.5 411.7 59.09 21.7
Total - 4,897.5 4,060.87 625.490 211.130
Beirut municipality’s share of the IMF revenues - Table 2
Year Amount (LBP billion)
1997 18.4
1998 - 1999 38.6
2000 13.4
2001 25
2002 23.2
2003 27.4
2004 39.3
2005 39.5
2006 42.6
2007 41
2008 37
2009 57.2
2010 67
2011 61.2
2012 73
2013 62.5
Total 666.3

The following observations can be made based on the above tables:

  • The shares due to municipalities were often delivered two or more years late. The 2005 shares for instance were not released until 2008.
  • Beirut Municipality obtained roughly LBP 666.3 billion, as illustrated in Table 2, which accounts for 14% of the total proceeds distributed to municipalities and municipal unions. Large municipalities, which total 16, dominated more than 60% of the IMF revenues.
  • 40% of the shares assigned for the municipalities benefitting from the services of Sukleen have gone for waste collection.
  • The number of municipalities increased from 700 in early 1998 prior to the rst municipal elections to 904 in 2004 prior to the second municipal elections. The number rose to 1015 in the beginning of November 2015.

NB: We chose the period between 1997 and today because it represents the time during which municipalities returned to activity after the municipal elections of May 1998, the first elections to be hold since 1963 when term extension and appointment were the norm.