Safadi Presents Amended Spending Draft Law as Cabinet Unlikely to Discuss Bill on Wednesdayإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Finance Minister Mohammed al-Safadi presented on Monday a draft law on the government extra-budgetary spending bill to the cabinet general secretariat.
The draft law should be presented before cabinet, but sources close to the Grand Serail ruled out the possibility that it would be discussed during Wednesday’s session.
They expected that it would be tackled during Thursday’s session, which is scheduled to be held at the Baabda Palace.
The minister told An Nahar daily in remarks published on Tuesday that the Finance Ministry is tackling the suitable mechanism to implement a law on extra-budgetary spending.
Safadi had warned on Monday that the extra-budgetary spending has become a “heavy burden” on the ruling March 8 majority.
“Each spending made currently is illegal,” he said in reference to the law, which says that the government can’t allocate funds that exceed the last state budget of 2005.
Cabinet members are at loggerheads over a $5.9 billion spending bill that would legalize the allocation of funds made by Premier Najib Miqati’s cabinet.
While the Free Patriotic Movement, Amal and Hizbullah have pressured President Michel Suleiman to sign the bill into law over parliament’s failure to adopt it, ministers loyal to Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat have defended the head of state in his decision not to.
Suleiman claims that the bill includes violations that should be amended by taking into consideration the remarks made by the parliamentary finance and budget committee.
The failure to approve the bill has threatened to withhold the salaries of Lebanese civil servants although Safadi gave assurances that the employees would receive their wages.