Lebanese Newspapers’ Headlines for Friday 17/4/2015

APRIL 17, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) AN-NAHAR: Increase of taxes in budget to fund salary scale

Direct UN criticism to those who disrupt presidential elections

ASSAFIR: Karma Khayat in her indictment: “STL” new tutelage!

Franjieh: Centrist President fell… And vacuum to last long

AL-MUSTASQBAL: Power Western States Ambassadors demand parliament to convene to elect president

Captives: “ISIS” raises roof and Qatar pledges to assist

THE DAILYSTAR: Ministers gear up for battle over budget

—Lebanon’s 2015 deficit is projected to reach $5 billion as the economy grows by 2.5 percent, the government was told Thursday during a session to discuss the draft budget, with ministers set to decide next week whether to approve the budget along with a public sector salary scale.

Addressing the Cabinet, Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil said that the budget deficit would reach $5 billion, compared to a deficit of $3.94 billion in 2014.

Around 30.6 percent of the draft budget would be allocated to public debt service, 17.2 percent for public sector salaries, 13.2 percent for electricity, 10.2 percent for retirement salaries, 6.3 percent for budget reserves and 8 percent for investment allocations such as infrastructure projects, according to the draft.