By Sami Zaptia.
London, 9 April 2018:
The official spokesperson for Presidency Council head Faiez Serraj, Mohamed El-Sallak said that the 2018 Financial Arrangements (the budget) would be revealed next week.
Speaking at the weekly Monday press conference held at the Media Centre of the Prime Minister’s Office today, El-Sallak said that ‘‘the procedures for the 2018 Financial Arrangements were continuing in accordance with the Libyan Political Agreement’’. He said that he expected these to be completed during the week.
These procedures, he added, were continuing in coordination between the Presidential Council and the Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, the Ministry of Finance of the Government of National Accord, the Central Bank of Libya and the Audit Bureau.
El-Sallak had also reported that the budget was still under discussion during his 19 March press conference.
It will be recalled that earlier this week Deputy head of the Presidency Council Ahmed Maetig had stressed the need to reduce the state-sector salary section of the budget during his discussions with Finance Ministry officials. The discussions were part of his general follow up on the delayed 2018 budget.
The discussions had emphasised the continued work to link all sectors with the Ministry of Finance National ID Number-based payroll system.
The link to the payroll system is to include all those not funded from the public budget such as public and private companies, banks, and others. The need to use the National ID Number-based payroll system was due to excessive recruitment and hiring of staff in the state-sector which had reached 1,752.000 employees, accounting for 58% of the public budget.
In February, NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla had complained about the delay in the issuing of the 2018 budget.
He had complained that his whole sector was suffering from the late payment of salaries for months and in delays in the implementation of some important projects.
He had said that this delay would have consequences on the whole hydrocarbon sector leading to large decreases in oil production levels. There would also be negative effects on proposed hydrocarbon development projects, he had added.
Sanalla has had a run-in with the Faiez Serraj PC/GNA for a number of years now. In his view, he has failed to secure the appropriately-sized budgets for the NOC in order to increase Libya’s oil production to a level that would help the Faiez Serraj administration solve many of its problems.
In December 2017 Sanalla had warned against the politicization of Libya’s state budget.