By Sami Zaptia.
London, 3 May 2021:
The Libyan government, led by prime minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba, delivered the amended 2021 budget to parliament (the House of Representatives (HoR) on Sunday, the HoR reported yesterday.
The budget was delivered by a ministerial delegation to HoR head Ageela Saleh to his office in his hometown of Gubba in eastern Libya.
The delegation was made up of Foreign Minister, Najla Mangoush, Planning Minister Fakher Boufarna, Interior Minister Khaled Mazen, Deputy Interior Minister Faraj Gaim and chairman of the General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL), Wiam Al-Abdali.
Situation of country, government performance and power cuts discussed
The HoR reported that during the meeting Saleh discussed with the ministers the situation in the country and the functioning of the government during the last period. The meeting also dealt with the problem of electricity that citizens are suffering during these days as a result of power cuts and ways to overcome the problems of the electricity sector.
Parliament rejected the 2021 budget, returned it with numerous amendments
It will be recalled that the Aldabaiba government had initially delivered its proposed LD 96 billion 2021 budget to parliament on 17 March.
The five sections of the budget were:
- State-sector salaries – LD 33 bn
- Operational spending – LD 12 bn
- Projects and Development – LD 22 bn
- Subsidies – 24 bn
- Emergency budget – 5 bn
The projected sources for this budget were:
- Oil and gas revenues – 89 bn
- Non-oil revenues – 3.9 bn
However, parliament rejected the initial budget and sent it back with numerous amendments.
The main reasons for its rejection were:
- The budget was too big for the governments short term in office of 9 months.
- The government has no time for medium/long term projects.
- The state has no strong monitoring institutions.
- Susceptible to corruption.
- Government should be realistic and concentrated efforts effectively by acting as a short-term, crisis management government concentrating on preparing for elections, fighting the pandemic, solving the electricity crisis and maybe the cash crises.
- The budget was amended to consider more ministries under the current government.
- Critics of parliament say it was delayed as leverage to influence the prime minister’s choice of Deputy Ministers.
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