By Moutaz Ali.
Tripoli, 11 May 2014:
Todays’ planned session . . .[restrict]of the General National Congress was cancelled. Members received a letter last night from the Presidency office informing them that no proceedings would take place today and that only assigned committees should work on their issues.
The purpose of today’s session was supposedly to approve the 2014 budget proposed by the government. The Finance and Budget Committee of the GNC had already made some amendments to this proposal.
The delay on the budget is linked to the fact that, as far as Congress is concerned, there is not a government in place.
“We must wait for Prime Minister Ahmed Maetig to form his government. Then, we will make a decision regarding the proposed budget,” Benghazi Congressman Ahmed Langhi told the Libya Herald.
Other members of the GNC consider the proposed amended budget of LD 58.92 billion to too high and requiring to be cut given the massive drop in earnings resulting from the oil ports closure.
“This budget is subject to a fiscal deficit of about LD 43 billion because it depends upon presumed oil income. At this point, there is no political solution of the oil ports problem,” Khoms member Abdulmonem Al-Yaser told this newspaper.
“It is futile to discuss the budget before Maetig forms the new government. This budget was proposed by Ali Zeidan, who is no longer in power. Therefore, for the time being, the new budget should aim to pay salaries only until the new House of Representatives is elected in August as planned,” Gemenis member Abdullah Gmati said.
This means that it will probably be another fortnight before the subject is debated. Congress may, however, decide to tell Maetig to come up with an emergency budget. [/restrict]