Minister Ali Hasan Khalil speaks during a news conference in Beirut, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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BEIRUT: Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil Wednesday offered ministers one of two choices: legalize the extra budgetary spending in Parliament or their ministries will not receive additional funds.Either extra spending is [authorized] through an approval for more spending from the Parliament or [there is a freeze in] allocations to all the ministries," the minister told reporters at a news conference.The minister insisted that the there is sufficient cash in the treasury to cover the current spending of all ministries until the end of this year, but warned that any spending above the last official budget ceiling is illegal, adding that he will not take such a responsibility. Khalil repeated that he will not be able pay the salaries of civil servants in September if the extra budgetary spending is not approved by either the Parliament or Cabinet.Khalil said that there are 14 loans that require parliamentary approval, that are worth $1.162 billion.The minister explained that the budget bill was referred to Parliament on March 19, 2015, and is not related to the current crisis.
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