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Jul 11 2012
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Cabinet ratifies 2012 draft budget, removes STL funding item

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Cabinet ratifies 2012 draft budget, removes STL funding item
The cabinet approved the 2012 draft budget on Wednesday and referred it to the Parliament for ratification. Earlier, a number of controversial items, more particularly the STL funding item and the ranks and salaries scale bill, were removed from the 2012 budget.

The cabinet had earlier approved a decision not to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) or any other form of taxation.         
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Following the session, Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced that the government has fulfilled its promise as it ratified the final draft budget. He added that the Ministry of Finance will carry out the necessary amendments to the budget, to be announced once finalized. Mikati hoped that it will be ratified by the Parliament as soon as possible.       

Asked on the removal of the STL funding item, Mikati said that the tribunal was funded this morning, similarly to last year.      

“This is why this item was removed from the budget; the funding took place the same way like last year, not necessarily through banks”, he said.

Earlier, Marada Minister Salim Karam withdrew from the cabinet session, over its failure to approve development projects in Ehden, threatening to boycott Thursday’s session.      

“We have a sanitation project for Ehden that has been halted for two years now; we were surprised to see that it was not included in the budget” Karam told LBCI.                  
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