|CDR to launch new development plan for Lebanon
|President of the Council for
Development and Reconstruction
(CDR), Fadel Shalaq said on
Monday that he will present a
new construction and development
plan that will cover all of Lebanon.
"The detailed plan will be based on the National Physical Master Plan of Lebanon that was prepared by consultant firm Dar al-Handasah and a team of advisers led by economist Charbel Nahas," Shalaq told reporters at the CDR headquarters.
Shalaq said that it is too early to estimate the cost of the plan, adding that Lebanon still needs a better infrastructure to achieve real economic growth.
"The plan will call for fresh funds for water treatment, solid waste and new highways and roads. We will seek international and Arab agencies to finance the plan through long term soft loans."
Former Prime Minister Omar Karami appointed Shalaq to the post at the end of 2004.
Shalaq paid tribute to Hariri, adding that the late premier should get a lot of credit for rebuilding Lebanon after the war.
He disclosed that CDR's headquarters was rebuilt with Hariri's own money.
"Hariri spent $5 million to rebuild CDR's headquarters," he said.
Shalaq said that the entire cost of reconstruction since 1994 did not exceed $4.75 billion.
Some critics claim that the high cost of reconstruction was one of the primary causes of the high public debt which now stand at more than $35 billion.
Shalaq admitted that the World Bank and other international agencies have withdrawn some of the money they allocated for CDR because the government did not press ahead with many of the development projects.
He added that CDR has allocated nearly $1 billion for projects that have not been completed yet.
The Daily Star