By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 6 November 2015:
In what appears to be a coordinated move with Dar Al-Ifta of Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, recognised . . .[restrict]in most of western Libya as the country’s grand mufti, the Central Bank of Libya has said that acquiring foreign currency should be restricted to those requiring medical treatment aboard or studying outside the country.
Earlier this week in a statement claiming that currency exchange dealers were criminals, Ghariani said that only students or those needing medical treatment abroad should be allowed to exchange dinars for foreign currency because of the current economic crisis.
With the dinar plunging against the US dollar and other currencies, the Central Bank has now put a ceiling for such coverage equivalent of $15,000 a year per person in Libyan dinars.
The figure – intended to regulate the cost of education and treatment for Libyan citizens in foreign countries according to a CBL statement – is below major hospitalisation and medical bills in much of Europe and the US and certainly below the combined cost of annual tuition and living expenses for students in the same places. If rigidly adhered to for any length of time, it is going to make life for Libyan students and those seeking major medical treatment abroad extremely difficult.
To be able to exchange dinars for hard currency under the new restrictions, the CBL said, applicants will be required to submit a “verified medical report from a foreign medical centre or hospital, the official receipts and a completed application form with national ID number,” among other documents.
Libyan students already enrolled in foreign universities should also submit their official applications along with an “official letter from the university confirming that the student is continuing studies, and official transcript verified by the Libyan embassy in that country.”
The dinar’s continuing collapse over the past week is unprecedented. It has lost around third of its value against most currencies, reaching an all-time high of LD 3.74 against a US dollar.
Tripoli-based traders said a recent public rush to buy foreign exchange had caused the collapse of dinar, mainly because not enough dollars were available to supply the market. [/restrict]