BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman will convene a Cabinet session Tuesday where ministers might look over a draft law that could oversee the financing of a long-awaited pay hike in the public sector.
Although the draft law is not officially on the agenda for the session, which includes 61 items, ministers received the document Monday.
If the proposal, advanced by Prime Minister Najib Mikati, is adopted, it would allow real estate developers to add an additional floor to their property in return for higher taxes. The revenues would then be used to finance the pay hike in the public sector.
The Cabinet’s delay in referring the issue of pay hikes to Parliament prompted a coalition of teachers and public sector employees to start an open-ended strike last month. For its part, the Cabinet explained it was using the time to study a means of financing the wage increases.
Sleiman promised that the Cabinet would refer the salary increase to Parliament during the first Cabinet session after March 21.
On the Cabinet’s agenda Tuesday is a draft decree from the Education Ministry to establish three doctoral institutes at the Lebanese University. The ministry has also requested that documents required of Syrian students to take officials exams be better specified.
The Cabinet is also set to look into yet another draft decree that seeks to channel LL6.3 billion from the treasury’s budget to the Prime Minister’s Office. The funds would then be allocated to the Council of Development and Reconstruction to finish construction of a stadium in Baalbek.
Other ministry requests slated to be discussed include one from the Agriculture Ministry to help apple farmers sell their produce, either through government purchase or export assistance.
The Tourism Ministry requested that exams be held for new hires in grades three, four and five in the ministry.
Also, the Industry Ministry requested that Industry Minister Vrej Sabounjian be allowed to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Cypriot Industry and Tourism Ministry.