Parliament Holds First Session to Discuss Budget

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Parliament Holds First Session to Discuss Budget

The Parliament convened on Tuesday on a legislative session, scheduled to be held through Thursday for morning and evening sessions, aimed at discussing the draft 2019 state budget.

“Voting will take place at the end of the legislative sessions and the Cabinet will also meet in the coming days to pass the financial accounts for 2017,” Speaker Nabih Berri said at the beginning of the morning first session.

In his turn, Prime Minister Saad Hariri mentioned that an alternative mechanism to resolve the issue of finalizing the audit for previous years’ accounts is being worked on by the president.

Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil indicated that an additional item for the budget might be added, which would give the Cabinet six extra months to provide the Parliament with financial accounts for the previous years.

“The Finance committee submitted amendments to the government’s draft budget and it would’ve modified more items had the plan been given to us at the beginning of the year as compelled by the Constitution,” Head of the Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee, MP Ibrahim Kanaan, told reporters ahead of entering the session.

The committee head urged the government to ratify the budget without delay so as to start planning for the 2020 State budget.