BEIRUT: The Cabinet appointed on Thursday members of Lebanon’s Socio-Economic Council, 17 years after the last set of appointments.
Tasked with providing consulting services to the Cabinet on Lebanon’s socio-economic projects, the council was first formed in 2000 in accordance with the Taif agreement. Previous administrations have failed to agree on a list of appointees after the term of the first council ended in 2003.
In other business, the Cabinet appropriated the necessary funds to finance parliamentary elections to be held in May 2018, which Education Minister Marwan Hamadeh labeled as “the most expensive in the world."
The session also featured the extension of contracts of electricity service providers ‘Boss’ and ‘KVA’.
The Cabinet will reconvene Wednesday to debate the 2017 annual state budget, with the hope of coming to terms for the first time in over 12 years.
Lebanon has been without a budget since 2005, leading to extra-budgetary spending that has hampered the economy.
Public debt has almost doubled in the 12 years since the last state budget was drafted, reaching $75 billion, while estimates of the country’s debt to GDP ratio are at 157 percent.
The state budget has been on the books for the better part of the year, with numerous delays hindering its passage through the legislative pipeline.
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