JERUSALEM (Jan. 1)
Following weeks of negotiations between the Treasury and the various government ministries, the Cabinet approved the Treasury’s draft budget for the year 1979-80 of the sum of IL.304 billion.
Finance Minister Simcha Ehrlich’s budget was approved by a large majority of 13 ministers, with only Energy and Infrastructure Minister Yitzhak Modai voting against it. Modai originally wanted to present his own budget, which was IL five billion smaller–but he dropped his proposal in the face of the large support the Treasury’s budget had won. Absorption Minister David Levy, Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon and Labor and Social Betterment Minister Yisrael Katz abstained.
Last week Premier Menachem Begin postponed the budget discussion, fearing that the Treasury’s proposal would not win the necessary majority. Since then, Ehrlich met with a number of ministers, and reached an understanding with most of them. Differences now exist only with the Defense and Interior Ministers. Bargaining is still expected, bough, between each ministry and the Treasury over their exact share of the budget.