Tel Aviv, Sep 3 (IANS) The Israeli Parliament has approved the state budget in a preliminary vote years after two years of a political deadlock.
On Thursday, the lawmakers voted 59-54 in favour of the proposed budget, a spokesperson for the Parliament, or Knesset, said in a statement.
The vote means the budget still needs to pass two additional rounds of votes before it gets final approval, reports Xinhua news agency.
According to a statement issued earlier by the Finance Ministry, the state budget for 2021 will be about 432.5 billion shekels ($135 billion) and about 452.5 billion shekels for 2022 ($141 billion.)
The approval is widely regarded as a major milestone to the cross-partisan coalition government headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who succeeded the country’s longest-serving leader Benjamin Netanyahu in June.
The budget proposal was approved in early August by Bennett’s cabinet.
It would go now to discussions at a Parliament committee, which will prepare it for the second and third round of votes at the Knesset plenum.
The budget needs to be approved by the Knesset by a November 5 deadline, otherwise Parliament will be automatically dissolved and new elections will be called.
During the past two years of political deadlock and four elections, Israel used a version of the state budget for 2019, which was approved in March 2018.