Deficit Surges To $15bn

Libya’s budget revenue from January to November 2014 has fallen to LD19.2bn ($15bn) from LD58bn ($45bn) in the corresponding period of 2013, the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) said in a statement on its website on 9 December. The CBL attributes this decline to a 40% fall in oil prices since June and to the failure of the state to levy customs duties.

The CBL says January-November spending was LD38.5bn ($30bn), including LD21.1bn ($16.5bn) for public sector salaries and LD12.7bn ($10bn) for subsidies. This led to a resulting deficit of LD19.3bn ($15bn) for the first 11 months of 2014, which will have to be covered from state reserves estimated at around $100bn in August, according to the IMF. The CBL has called for a review of Libya’s subsidies policy in a bid to preserve these falling reserves which stood at $121bn at the beginning of 2014. (CONTINUED - 245 WORDS)