By Libya Herald editor.
Tunis, 25 May 2015:
The Tripoli authorities announced on Sunday . . .[restrict]that as part of the reform of Libya’s subsidy system to be introduced in the forthcoming 2015 budget, petrol prices will be increased by 200%.
A litre of petrol currently retails at LD 0.15 at petrol pumps and the aim is to raise that to LD 0.45. The plan will not be implemented until the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) releases funds for the proposed 2015 budget. Other fuel prices will also be raised.
The announcement by the GNC came as part of their revelation that they have approved its 2015 budget set at LD 43 bn. The GNC admitted that only LD 13 bn will be financed by hydrocarbon revenues, leaving a LD 18 bn budget deficit.
The proposed budget stipulates that state-sector salaries can only be paid through the National ID Number and stipulates that subsidies be reformed.
It will be recalled that this announcement to increase fuel prices was made by the Tripoli authorities and was initially opposed by the internationally recognized parliament – the House of Representatives – in Tobruk.
It is not clear, therefore, if the internationally recognized government of Abdullah Thinni is going to implement the petrol and general fuel price increase in the region under its control.
More pertinently, de facto, it is the Central Bank of Libya that controls Libya’s purse strings since Libya’s political split into two authorities, and it is not clear if the CBL has approved the cash for goods subsidy reform announced by the Tripoli authorities.
At the time of writing the CBL had made no comments about the increased fuel prices nor about the LD 50 / citizen cash for goods payments that it would have to approve.
The National ID Number Authority, meanwhile, in a separate statement, revealed that it has prepared the necessary software and programme needed to distribute the cash-instead-of-goods payment to Libya citizens using the National ID Number. [/restrict]