Berri Says Army Reason Behind Failure to Endorse New Pay Hike

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Speaker Nabih Berri revealed on Friday that the main reason for referring the new wage scale to the joint parliamentary committees was the objection expressed by the army over the controversial pay raise draft-law for the public sector.

“The reservations expressed by the military corps was the cause of sending back the draft-law to the joint parliamentary committees,” Berri told various local newspapers.

He pointed out that the army insists on separating its pay raise from that proposed for public employees, saying: “I will not ignore its reservations.”

“I took into consideration this matter… The Economic Committees shouldn’t assume that I did them a favor with my decision,” Berri stressed.

He called on the Economic Committees to deal positively with the issue and carry out its tasks.

The Economic Committees had continuously reiterated that they would reject any decision regarding the new pay hike, citing economic repercussions.

Parliament failed to discuss on Wednesday the wage hike draft-law after Berri sent back the bill to the joint parliamentary committees for discussion over differences on the raise.

Defense Minister Samir Moqbel said later that he would propose a bill to the government on a separate wage hike for the army.

Berri said that he will not call for a new parliamentary session after Eid al-Adha, noting that the parliament will meet at the end of the month with an agenda packed with urgent draft-laws.

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