The Cabinet held today a meeting chaired by the President of the Council of Ministers Saad Hariri, after which the Minister of Information Jamal Jarrah said:
The cabinet completed today its discussions about the contributions to the institutions, associations and bodies that receive contributions from the state. The council was very careful not to reduce the contributions to serious associations and bodies that are fundamental for the lives of citizens, most importantly the Children’ Cancer Center, the bone marrow center, Caritas, the Red Cross and other institutions that provide medical, health and educational services to the citizens. These institutions have not been affected, and if there had been a possibility we would have increased the contributions despite the difficult situation. We maintained what the state contributes to them, because they provide services to the citizens especially in these difficult circumstances, and they need this money to continue their work efficiently, and they proved their presence and their relationship with the people. On the other hand, a reduction has been made to the contributions to some associations and institutions, but the reduction was also small, maximum 10 to 15%, so that they can continue to serve the citizens. We almost completed this article. Tomorrow we will discuss the economic proposals and reforms. The Minister of Finance will give a summary of what we did in the past period, which means the results of the reductions. The next session will be tomorrow at noon.
Question: Did you take all that time to study the issue of associations?
Jarrah: We started discussing this issue yesterday and we completed it today. It is a very long and thorny issue.
Question: There are many festival associations in Lebanon. Did you address this issue?
Jarrah: We discussed it. There were views supporting a reduction and others with preserving the allocations, due to their importance for tourism, but the article remained unmodified.
Question: Could you reach salary cuts if the reductions made until now are not enough?
Jarrah: I cannot answer before the Finance Minister presents his report.
Question: You expected to finish studying the draft project last week but until now, you did not finish, why?
Jarrah: Unfortunately, things are taking time, but the discussion is useful and responsible. We have a reformative budget, so there is debate on most of the items in order to reach an agreement.
Question: There was confusion on the issue of the military and measure No. 3. You said the issue was approved in the cabinet, while the Minister of Defense denies that. Is there any clarification on this point?
Jarrah: Measure No. 3 was adopted in the confrontation with the Israeli enemy, and the ministers of defense and interior will determine the necessary procedures concerning the other areas. There may be other areas where they see that measure No.3 applies. They assess the security situation and its seriousness.
Source: National News Agency