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Bolstered by Parliament's ratification of Lebanon's first state budget in over a decade, the Cabinet plans to hold consecutive sessions this week to draft the 2018 budget in a move aimed at restoring order to the financial system jolted by 12 years of extra-budgetary spending in the billions of dollars, officials said Sunday. An official source at Baabda Palace said that agreement had been reached during last week's Cabinet meeting to hold Cabinet sessions devoted to preparing the draft 2018 state budget. Fneish, one of two Hezbollah ministers, said that he has not so far been notified of the date of the Cabinet sessions which are expected to be held under President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace.Speaking to reporters last Thursday shortly after Parliament passed Lebanon's first state budget in 12 years, in a landmark move seen as crucial for putting an end to extra-budgetary spending in the billions of dollars since 2005, both Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil said that Cabinet would meet this week to begin drafting the 2018 budget.
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