BEIRUT: Economy and Trade Minister Nicolas Nahhas said Friday the issue of the salary scale for state employees should not be taken lightly, stressing that the main priority should be to keep a balance in the state’s budget. “Everybody should understand the importance of this [salary scale] issue. The salary increases should be within the means of the state,” the minister told Voice of Lebanon. He suggested that bowing completely to the demands of the unions and associations would cause a heavy burden on the treasury. Nahhas rejected proposals to offer students statements testifying that they completed the school year instead of certificates due to the strike of public school teachers who refuse to correct the official exams. He supported the demands of Electricite du Liban’s part-time employees for full-time employment but stressed that the firm could only accommodate a certain number of staff.