(The Daily Star/Ahmad Azakir)
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The Cabinet is seeking to approve the 2017 draft state budget as soon as possible, while it examines quietly and positively the contentious issue of the private sector's salary hike bill, Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Thursday.Khalil played down differences among ministers over the proposed taxes to finance the salary increases, saying the draft budget might be endorsed during three Cabinet sessions set for next week.We have in principle finished discussing all legal provisions related to the budget and we have begun discussing taxation measures and [proposed] amendments," Khalil told reporters after the three-hour Cabinet session at the Grand Serail.He said Hariri has scheduled three Cabinet sessions for next week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, to wind up discussions on the draft budget. The Future Movement's parliamentary bloc called on the Cabinet to quickly endorse the draft budget and send it to Parliament so that lawmakers can begin studying and ratifying it.
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