By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 18 December 2013:
With this year’s annual Ghat festival of culture and tourism, just ten days away, it has . . .[restrict]become embroiled in a row over funding.
The executive manager of the festival Abdilazeez Alhashi has accused the Minister of Tourism, Ikram Bash Imam, of failing to provide funding for the event.
He told the Libya Herald that she had visited the festival last year and made a number of financial promises but none has materialized so far. The Ministry, he said, had to assume its responsibilities as the official sponsor of the festival. At the moment, it was only the festival organising committee and local civic societies that making the festival a reality.
Despite the lack of funding from the tourism ministry, Alhashi said, it would be held as scheduled.
The Ministry, however, has defended its position, saying that the fault lies with the Ministry of Planning which will not process funding.
The Executive Manager of Tourism at the Ministry, Zakaria Abuzed, said that said that a quarter of a million dinars had been budgeted for the Ghat festival.
“The ministry of planning is holding us back because until now it has not approved the budget and therefore it is impossible to pass the money on to the festival administration”, Abuzed said. The delay was not the Ministry of Tourism’s fault, he insisted.
The Ministry had suggested to Ghat local council that it fund the festival “but they said that they are absolutely broke”.
This year’s Ghat festival, the 19th, runs from 28 to 30 December.