Berri receives Hariri in the presence of Hasan Khalil in Beirut, Friday, July 14, 2017. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Parliament, HO)
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Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil sounded optimistic Friday that Parliament would finally pass a long-awaited salary hike bill for the public sector next week, despite political and financial hurdles, as well as mounting opposition from banks and business leaders to proposed taxes to foot the bill.Friday's meeting came a day after Berri called on Parliament to meet in a general two-day legislative session Tuesday and Wednesday to study and ratify some 30 draft laws and proposals, with the salary hike bill topping the agenda.Khalil denied that the proposed taxes would affect poor or low-income people.Khalil said the blocs' representatives also discussed the 2017 draft state budget, noting that there was no direct link between the salary scale bill and the draft budget.The salary scale bill was not included in the draft budget, and will be treated as a separate issue before being integrated.
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