Ali Hasan Khalil speaks in Beirut, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. (The Daily Star/Khalil Hassan)
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The Cabinet will endorse the 2017 draft state budget next week and send it to Parliament for a final ratification, Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil said Friday, adding that the move would clear the way for rivals to gear efforts toward agreeing on a new vote law.Khalil, who has estimated the cost of financing the salary scale bill at LL1.2 trillion ($800 million), insisted that the taxes proposed in the draft budget would not affect the low- and middle-income people.Prime Minister Saad Hariri has scheduled three Cabinet sessions for next week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – to wrap up discussions on the draft budget. Khalil said the Cabinet approval of the budget would allow political adversaries to concentrate their efforts on exploring a new voting system to replace the controversial 1960 majoritarian law.Lebanese parties are sharply divided over adopting a proportional electoral law or a hybrid law that includes aspects of the proportional and the 1960 winner-take-all systems.
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