By Sami Zaptia.
London, 19 April 2016:
The . . .[restrict]Presidential Council (PC) of the Government of National Accord (GNA) held a lengthy meeting with the Governor of the Tripoli Central Bank of Libya (CBL), Saddek Elkaber in order to ‘’decrease the burden of the average Libyan citizen’’ and in order to discuss the ‘’agreed urgent procedures to solve the problem of cash shortage in banks and the import of foodstuffs’’.
‘’The discussion concentrated on the practical steps taken by the CBL during the previous two days which started to be implemented since last Sunday’’
These were summarized in five points, the PC/GNA statement revealed on the Sunday meeting details of which were released yesterday.
1-Raising the ceiling of foreign currency allocated for banks for transfers through Western Union and Money Gram from US$ 100 million to US$ 200 million per month.
2-Raising the ceiling of foreign currency allocated for banks for debit cards from US$ 100 million to US$ 200 million per month.
3-Opening Letters of Credit to the value of US$ 1.2 bn.
4-Starting Monday the opening of Cash Against Credit (CAD) (or Documentary Collection Payment) to the value of US$ 110 million going up to a total of US$ 500 specified for the import of foodstuffs.
5- It was also agreed to hasten the import of the consignment of Libyan money notes to be imported from Britain to start arriving in batches from next week instead of arriving as had previously been planned in June.
Speaking to Libya Herald, a leading Libyan businessman, who did not wish to be named, complained that ‘’CAD had been stopped since April 2015 by the CBL. It limited payments only through LCs, thereby denying importers credit terms given to us by suppliers’’, he explained.
‘’From November 2015 the CBL stopped all forms of foreign payments. In February 2016 it introduced what were seen by many leading businesses as ‘’impossible to execute’’ LC terms and announced a new system which has ‘’not been practicable to date’’, he added.
‘’These changes since April 2016 have caused the inflation and deterioration of the economy with soaring prices to unprecedented levels’’.
‘’The PC/GNA, to alleviate the crises, have ordered the CBL to permit CAD payments again. This is now applicable to just foodstuffs and medicines’’, he revealed.
The PC/GNA is also thought to be keen to ensure there were adequate supplies of foodstuffs in preparation of the oncoming holy fasting month of Ramadan which is a peak consumption month for foodstuffs.
The meeting also puts beyond doubt that fact that the CBL is working with and in full acceptance of the authority of the PC/GNC and no longer dealing w [/restrict]