By Sami Zaptia.
London, 21 March 2021:
Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba’s Government of National Unity has revealed that it has proposed a budget of LD 96 billion to parliament.
The five sections of the budget are:
- State-sector salaries – LD 33 bn
- Operational spending – LD 12 bn
- Projects and Development – LD 22 bn
- Subsidies – 24 bn
- Emergency budget – 5 bn
The projected sources for this budget are:
- Oil and gas revenues – 89 bn
- Non-oil revenues – 3.9 bn
Criticism of expanded budget
The expanded budget has come in for criticism. For example, some critics believe it wrong to be setting a budget of nearly LD 100 billion in the absence of real state institutions, the lack of adequate oversight, and the lack of accountability of the former administration and those accused/suspected of corruption.
They feel that having a large budget in such circumstances for a government of nine months will only encourage and enshrine further corruption.
They believe that a government which plans to handover at the 24 December elections has no time for medium or long-term development, construction or reconstruction projects.
The view is that the GNU should be realistic and concentrated its efforts effectively by acting as a short-term, crisis management government concentrating on preparing for elections, fighting the pandemic, solving the electricity crisis and maybe the cash crises.