Arab News Digest

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MIKATI: SATURDAY’S CABINET SESSION TO ADDRESS WAGE HIKE, YET BOUND BY SPENDING CAP


Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, on Thursday delivered the following word in the wake of the cabinet session:

‘Out of our keenness for the current situation in the country and for constitutional institutions to function fully, there was a collective insistence by all ministers to convene the Cabinet today to address all matters raised in these challenging circumstances, with a view to what is best for Lebanon and the Lebanese people.

At the outset of the session, the 2024 budget law was approved due to its significant importance in managing state affairs, and once published, it will be implemented immediately.

Furthermore, the second issue discussed, raised by some ministers, concerns increasing productivity allowances for the public sector, military personnel, and retirees. This item was not initially on the agenda. I am surprised by all this commotion because it was not scheduled for discussion today. However, given the ministers’ eagerness to approve this matter as soon as possible to ensure cont
inuity in the public sector and to give everyone their due rights, we have decided to hold an extraordinary Cabinet session next Saturday to specifically discuss this item after distributing the proposed projects to the ministers for review. We fully understand the importance of this matter.

I am fully aware of the current reality and the social situation of retirees and the conditions they are experiencing. However, we are bound by a certain spending ceiling that we cannot exceed, and within this framework, some ministers have requested considering the possibility of achieving more justice in the required distributions. For this reason, the next session on Saturday will address this matter. This issue was not approved because it was not originally on the Cabinet’s agenda, and we will reconsider it next Saturday.

The Cabinet also discussed security and military conditions in Lebanon and Israeli aggression and all necessary security requirements. With a pressing need to appoint a Chief of Staff for the army,
the Cabinet decided to appoint Brigadier General Hassan Audi as Chief of Staff and promote him to the rank of Major General. This matter is critical today given the circumstances Lebanon is facing.

In the course of the session, general topics were discussed, and at the outset of the session, Dr. Nawaf Salam was congratulated on behalf of the Cabinet, as it is an honor for Lebanon to have Dr. Nawaf Salam as the President of the International Court of Justice.’

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon

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