Cabinet Most Likely to Approve Tripoli Loan to Avert Suspension of Sessions

Posted on: June 04, 2012 at 00:01
The cabinet is expected to approve Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi’s proposal for the allocation of $100 million in a treasury loan to finance projects in the northern city of Tripoli, An Nahar daily reported Monday.

The newspaper quoted sources as saying that the issue would most probably be settled for being the first item on the agenda of the cabinet that is now scheduled to meet at Baabda Palace on Thursday under President Michel Suleiman to resume discussions on the 2012 draft state budget after it was postponed for one day.

The session was first scheduled to be held on Wednesday but a statement said it was postponed to 10:00 am Thursday without providing any reason.

Last week, Miqati gave an ultimatum to the cabinet ministers to resolve the controversial funding of state projects by Wednesday.

Although several March 8 ministers approved the $100 million plan, they rejected the implementation of the projects through treasury loans, saying that was an illegal move.

After a long debate, the cabinet approved in principal to implement development projects in Tripoli worth LL150 billion and decide on the source of the funding during the session this week.

But if the cabinet fails to approve the Tripoli loan, Miqati could suspend the government sessions.

Safadi appeased fears on Monday, telling An Nahar that the state is facing difficulties in the legalization of extra-budgetary spending and does not have a solvency problem.

Lebanon has been without an official state budget since 2005.
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