By Michel Cousins.
Tripoli, 10 February 2013:
The 2013 budget is set at LD 66 billion according to GNC spokesman Omar Hemidan. He disclosed the figure this afternoon, Sunday, while speaking about the fact that Congress has now started to review the budget’s individual items so as to be able make recommendations prior to its approval.
The figure is marginally lower – 3.6 percent – than the LD 68.5 billion set for the 2012 budget.
It, however, was massively underspent. Four weeks ago, former Prime Minister Abdurrahim Al-Kib, refuting allegations of financial mismanagement, said that only LD 26.839 billion was spent of the LD 68.5 billion allocated for 2012. Some 61 percent – LD 41.684 billion – remained unused.
The reason, however, was not that there had been colossal over-budgeting but because the Kib administration deliberately chose to clamp down on spending.
So far, no breakdown of this year’s budget has been divulged, although electricity, water and roadworks are expected to take the lion’s share of capital spending this year.
Congress has been discussing the budget for the past week. It was during a debate on it last Sunday that wounded revolutionaries invaded the chamber demanding that the authorities pay for their treatment abroad.