By Sami Zaptia.
London, 25 July 2020:
In a statement to the eastern-based state Libyan News Agency, LANA, the eastern Libyan Government’s Undersecretary of Finance, Emraja Ghaith, said that the Ministry will soon launch a service to pay salaries automatically or electronically, through a system linked to the ‘‘entire country’’. This service, he added, will end future delays in the payment of state-sector salaries.
The eastern Libyan government, unrecognized by the international community, recently paid state sector salaries for the months of May, June and July, in time for the Eid Al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) on 30 July.
Undersecretary Ghaith blamed the delay in salary payments on the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya and that the Tripoli CBL has cut-off the eastern Libyan bank system from its central clearing system. This means money cannot be transferred electronically and cheques cannot be cleared between western and eastern Libya.
Ghaith said that the eastern Libyan government must also find new sources of revenues to finance its expenses. These include allowing councils to earn revenue by charging for various services.
He also explained that whilst part of the eastern-based government’s expenses are paid by Tripoli, part of it are paid through a loan from the eastern-based CBL to the eastern based Libyan government.
It is worth noting that Tripoli considers these loans ‘‘illegal’’ and refuses to accept them as part of the official Libyan state deficit. These loans to the eastern based Libyan government are partly to blame for the current political battle between western and eastern Libya over the need for an independent international audit of both central banks.