A policeman stands guard in front of the Finance Ministry in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil Thursday reiterated his position that salaries of civil servants and military personnel will not be paid end of this month if Cabinet and Parliament failed to approve extra-budgetary spending.Speaking to MTV station, the minister said he was not willing to pay the salaries of the civil servants this month if the extra-budgetary spending is not passed by Parliament, brushing aside some accusations that his position is politically motivated. Most lawmakers from March 14 dismissed Khalil's decision as nothing more than political pressure to encourage Parliament to convene and discuss all pending political and economic issues.However, some of the lawmakers admitted that the Finance Ministry may have a serious problem paying the salaries in September because in that month the Ministry will truly exceed the budget. The Finance Ministry usually allocates LL500 billion ($333 million) each month to cover the salaries of the civil servants, military personnel and end of service benefits of government retirees.
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