What’s new in “transportation allowance” and “finance card”?

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Prime Minister Najib Mikati, in the presence of Labor Minister Mustafa Bayram, chaired a meeting that included Head of Economic Organizations, Mohamed Choucair, and President of the General Labor Union, Bechara Al-Asmar, at the Grand Serail this morning, during which the economic situation was discussed.Following the meeting, Minister Bayram said, “In preparation for the meeting of the indicator committee related to improving salaries and wages in the private sector, a meeting was held under the auspices of President Mikati, the head of the General Labor Union, and the head of economic bodies. The stage of crisis management, and therefore, the solutions that are presented and discussed were initially agreed upon, and they are items related to crisis management. It is not a sustainable solution but a solution that manages the crisis in accordance with the emergency economic conditions and the multiplicity of the exchange rate and in order to guarantee the rights of employers and their continuity in their work and revitalization The economic cycle, activating and facilitating the employment of the Lebanese, and upgrading the rights of the Lebanese worker to give him a kind of social security and social stability.

He added, “I say that the solutions are not prosperity solutions but rather crisis management that is divided into several sections, namely: the transportation allowance to be unified between the public and private sectors, and the issue of the allowance related to the educational grant for each child in the public sector and private schools, and it was also agreed on the possibility of granting a monthly advance to the private sector. And these matters will be studied in a balanced scientific way in the indicator committee that will be held the day after tomorrow, Wednesday, at the Ministry of Labor, with reference to a basic issue, which is the issue of end-of-service compensation, which we discussed in depth, and there is a proposal that is being worked on in cooperation with the Social Security Fund administration.

For his part, Al-Asmar said, “We agreed to activate and support the public transport plan, which is financed by the World Bank and cost 290 million dollars, and to support private transport according to the plan developed, and the labor union will move next Wednesday, which is a day of anger in order to implement the plan. The President is to complete the research with this plan.”He added, “The issue of the financing card and the need to activate it in parallel with the proposal of the Minister of Labour, as well as the support of the National Social Security Fund and the guarantee funds at this stage were discussed, and the Index Committee will meet next Wednesday under the auspices of the Minister of Labor to discuss studies on wages, its annexes and parts.”

As for reaching a vision about the proposed increase, he replied, “The atmosphere is positive through the proposals presented by President Mikati, whether it is for the public sector or the private sector, especially since we discussed the two issues, and the head of the economic bodies was also positive in what he proposed, and all of this is under the auspices of Minister of Labour”.

And he continued, “As for the public sector, it was agreed to complete the research with the Minister of Labor on defining the public sector, meaning who includes this sector, because when decrees related to this sector are issued, we forget about government hospitals, municipalities, public institutions, Lebanon TV, Social Security, contractors, retirees, and university professors. Therefore, it was agreed to complete the research to determine the nature of the public sector and submit it to the Council of Ministers so that the decree would be integrated with respect to this sector.”

And he added, “As for the private sector, the research is focused on employee relief, because the index committee may take its time to search for a minimum wage or to raise wage supplements and its parts, and during the research period, workers cannot wait for studies, so there was a proposal to grant advances to the sector. The private sector is similar to what is happening in the public sector, and there will be a discussion on the issue of advances with the Minister of Labor and economic authorities.”





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