By Sami Zaptia.
London, 8 September 2021:
At today’s delayed questioning session of the government by parliament (the House of Representatives – HoR), accusations passed to and fro between the two as to who is responsible for the delay in the passage of the 2021 budget.
The session had been delayed from yesterday after the HoR accused the government of turning up late: three o’clock in the afternoon instead of 11 in the morning.
Member of the HoR Finance Committee, Abdel Salam Nasia said:
– The government always says that it is the House of Representatives that obstructs the adoption of the budget, and this is not true.
– The Finance Committee in the House of Representatives and some experts referred essential observations to the government regarding the proposed 2021 budget, and the government did not respond.
– The government did not accept parliament’s budget amendments, which are binding according to the parliament’s bylaws.
These amendments, he said, are represented in three essential things, including:
- Parliament’s rejection of the emergency chapter
- The classification of the third chapter (Projects and development)
- The treatment of public debt is carried out in accordance with the state’s financial law.
– The Central Bank of Libya agrees with the HoR that the value of the budget during this year should be 79 billion dinars, and we support the adoption of the budget with this figure in order to preserve the national economy, but the government did not respond.
– The government spent about 5 billion from the emergency section, which was rejected by the House of Representatives.
The Prime Minister responds
Responding, Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba said his government was forced to spend from the Emergency section of the budget since parliament had failed to approve the proposed 2021 budget.
Aldabaiba said that five billion dinars were spent by the government during the past eight months under the emergency clause.
He said 700 million dinars were allocated to the security services, 250 million to the Ministry of Local Government, and 500 million to the Social Security Fund.
He continued, “The Ministry of Health and the fight against the emerging corona virus pandemic has been allocated one billion and 200 million, referring to the high allocations in this regard to the fact that the ministry’s needs are imported, and therefore affected by the rise in the dollar exchange rate, which is 4.4 dinars today.”
He added, “The five medical centres were allocated 50 million dinars, the University of Benghazi 100 million dinars, 100 million dinars were given to deal with the different needs of ministries, and 150 million for transportation.”