Jumblat: Shatah Relayed to Me Saniora's Remarks on Spending Bill

Posted on: July 02, 2012 at 01:41
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat on Sunday revealed that ex-PM Saad Hariri's adviser Mohammed Shatah has relayed to him remarks proposed by ex-PM Fouad Saniora regarding the spending bill.

“He suggested that both the timeframe and the amount be slashed,” Jumblat told al-Manar television.

“But the objective is to facilitate things,” Jumblat added.

Parliament is expected to convene on Monday and Tuesday in order to tackle 33 projects and draft laws, most notably one on state institution expenses and the other on the employment of Electricite du Liban contract workers, reported the daily An Nahar on Sunday.

Several contacts were conducted between the rival parliamentary majority and the opposition in order to ensure that spending draft law will be tackled at parliament, said the daily.

Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee had left it up to Speaker Nabih Berri to decide whether this issue will be addressed during Monday and Tuesday’s sessions due to the disputes among the majority and opposition, said An Nahar.

Some circles meanwhile stated that no decision will be taken on the matter at parliament, but the speaker will simply suffice with reading the draft law before the lawmakers.

An Nahar had reported on Thursday that members of parliament’s bureau refused to put an urgent draft-law on the allocation of LL11.561 trillion to cover the expenses of state institutions in 2012 on the agenda of a legislative session next week.

According to the newspaper, Berri will use his prerogatives to propose the bill from outside the agenda.

Parliament is scheduled to tackle the recent decision by the joint parliamentary committees to permanently employee Electricite du Liban’s contract workers.

An Nahar newspaper reported Friday that the parliament session will witness a heated debate over the issue as Change and Reform bloc MPs, led by MP Michel Aoun, prepared a constitutional challenge to contest the decision.

Earlier this month, the parliamentary joint committees tasked with resolving the EDL contract workers’ crisis agreed to include all of them in a selection process for permanent employment.

Energy Minister Jebran Bassil had proposed to allow 700 contract workers to stand for an official exam, out of some 2,500 employees, while the rest would become employees at private companies under a three-month probation period as the company can’t contain all of the employees.

Sources told An Nahar that the full-time employment of all the contract workers disrupts the sectarian balance in the public institution.
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