By Sami Zaptia.
London, 16 May 2018:
The Tripoli-based Audit Bureau expressed its concern over possible food shortages and price rises during the month of Ramadan due to delays in processing of import facilities by the Faiez Serraj-led Presidency Council (PC).
To this end, the Audit Bureau has urged the PC to speed up the formation of the committee for implementing decree 505 (2018) which provided importers with letters of credit/CAD facilities of essential food items. The import letters of credit/CAD facilities provide hard currency payment facilities through the Central Bank of Libya at the official exchange rate.
The Audit Bureau said that it was eager to be informed of the committee so that it can follow up its monitoring role of the process. It is keen to ensure that public money is spent efficiently and that there is no corruption.
The Audit Bureau also points out that decree 505 came about following a report by the PC’s Ministry of Economy indicating needs of the Libyan domestic market of essential food items during the fasting Month of Ramadan – which begins tomorrow.
It expressed its concern over the delayed announcement of this committee and the possible resultant food shortages and increased burden on Libyan citizens this may cause.
The statement by the Audit Bureau comes on the back of its freezing of decree 505 (2018) US$ 450 million passed by the Presidency Council for the import of essential foodstuffs. The Audit Bureau felt the process of choosing the companies to import the foodstuffs through preferential letters of credit/Cash-Against-Document facilities from the Central Bank of Libya at the official exchange rate was not transparent enough.