Extra-Budgetary Spending Lands on Cabinet Agenda Next Weekإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Minister of State Panos Manjian has confirmed that the cabinet will convene in Baabda Palace next Wednesday to discuss the extra-budgetary spending and 35 other articles on its agenda.
In remarks to Voice of Lebanon radio station (93.3), Manjian said the agenda that was distributed to the cabinet ministers on Friday night includes 36 articles led by the spending issue.
His comment came after An Nahar daily reported that Premier Najib Miqati is striking a deal with the different members of the cabinet to separate the $5.9 billion extra-budgetary spending of 2011 from the expenditures of this year.
It said the cabinet will now study a separate draft-law of $3.12 billion for the 2012 spending, including salaries for public sector employees, and refer it to parliament for approval.
The $3.12 billion will be allocated pending the approval of this year’s official budget, the newspaper said.
Miqati postponed a cabinet session that was scheduled to be held at Baabda palace on Thursday over differences between the different members on the $5.9 billion bill which parliament had failed to approve.
The March 8 forces and mainly the FPM are stressing that the only solution lies in President Michel Suleiman’s approval of the draft-law in accordance with article 58 of the constitution which allows the head of state to issue a bill deemed urgent by the government after the failure of the legislature to approve it.
But Suleiman backed by the ministers loyal to Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat, who is a centrist, is rejecting such a move.
The president claims that signing the decree would be unconstitutional because it includes violations that parliament’s finance and budget committee has expressed reservations over and instead is calling for sending the draft-law back to parliament for approval.
The new deal allegedly struck between Miqati and the different parties that makeup the government would pave way for the discussion of the extra-budgetary spending at a session in Baabda next Wednesday, An Nahar said.