Third draft 2021 budget presented by government to parliament totals LD 111.5 bn

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Posted – 19th August 2021

The third draft budget presented by Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba’s government yesterday to Libya’s parliament (the House of Representatives – HoR), totals at LD 111.5 billion.

The size of the budget was revealed at yesterday’s parliamentary session when the draft was circulated to members to study before a possible session to discuss it next Monday (23 August).

HoR head Ageela Saleh rebutted comments by members yesterday that the HoR was responsible for delaying the budget. He said how can the HoR approve the budget when the government kept changing it.

The Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba government has presented three draft budgets:

Budget Draft 1 – LD 96 bn – presented in March

Budget Draft 2 – LD 111 bn – presented on 3 August

Budget Draft 3 – LD 111 bn – presented on 17 August

 

Details of draft 2 (3 August):

Detail Amount Percent
Salaries LD 43.9 bn 39.5
Operational LD 18.7 bn 16.8
Development/projects LD 20 bn 18
Subsidies LD 22.6 bn 20
Emergency LD 6.0 bn 0.5
Total: 111 bn  

 

Details of draft 3 (17 August):

Detail Amount Percent
Salaries LD 44.4 bn 39.8
Operational LD 17.4 bn 15.6
Development/projects LD 20 bn 18
Subsidies LD 22.6 bn 20
Emergency LD 7.0 bn 0.6
Total: 111.5 bn  

 

Objections to the budget

It is unclear why Prime Minister Aldabaiba thinks this time his budget will be approved. Some members pointed out at yesterday’s HoR session that Aldabaiba may be does not want the budget to be approved. He prefers to blame his government’s woes on the failure of the HoR to pass the budget and he can continue to spend one-twelfth of the last budget ever month – without oversight or restrictions.

It will be recalled that, prima facie, the HoR objected to previous budgets because:

  • the budget was too large for the remaining time Aldabaiba’s government has in office (until 24 December 2021).
  • The HoR had, it will be recalled, reduced the initially presented draft budget of just under LD 96 bn by about 20 percent to just over LD 70 bn. Why should they approve an even larger budget now?.

In reality, many members had prevented the passing of the budget for ulterior motives, wishing to extricate concessions from the government such as:

  • A budget for Hafter’s army. This was incorporated by Aldabaiba in draft two.
  • More regional spending in their constituencies.
  • Agreement with the Presidency Council on the appointment of the Head of the Intelligence Services. This has nothing to do with the government.
  • Pressure on the High State Council to reach agreement on the appointment of Sovereign positions / hold elections. This has nothing to do with the government.
  • Pressure on the government to appoint the Defence Minister and his Deputies.

 

But it must also be said that there is a group of members who honestly believe the budget is indeed too large, and that it will facilitate corruption.

It will be noted that as a result of the salary increases demanded by the HoR, the salaries section of the budget has mushroomed even further (39.8 percent), and with subsidies making up about 20 percent, about 60 percent of the budget now goes on these two main sections.

Despite being asked to remove the ‘‘Emergency’’ section of the budget inserted by the Serraj government during Khalifa Hafter’s war on Tripoli – as Libya is no longer at war – the Aldabaiba government has persisted with it (LD 7  bn).

LIBYA HERALD – Sami Zaptia

The Libya Consultancy does not imply any association with, nor endorsement by or of the publisher of this article

 
 

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