Lebanon Cabinet approves watershed electricity sector reform

Lebanon's Cabinet has approved a much-anticipated plan to restructure the electricity sector, which has been deeply dysfunctional for over four decades since the time of the country's civil war.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Monday that the new plan will eventually provide 24-hour electricity to the country's population of over 5 million.

Lebanon relies on a network of private generator providers. Subsidies to the state electricity company cost the government nearly $2 billion a year.

The plan, expected to get parliament's approval, will reform the state electricity company, introduce new pricing policies and boost power production.

International donor institutions have recommended electricity reform as a major step to deal with the massive public debt, one of the largest in the world, estimated at nearly 150 percent of GDP.