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Audit Bureau turns down GNA’s 2019 budget

Libya’s Audit Bureau, the highest financial regulatory authority in the country, has rejected the 2019 budget announced by the Government of National Accords (GNA) last month.

Head of the Audit Bureau Khaled Shakshak referred the 2019 budget, amounting to LYD 46.8 billion ($33.83 billion), to the draft budget committee in the Ministry of Finance on Saturday.

The Tobruk-based Audit Bureau said the legislative authority represented by the Tobruk-based House of Representatives did not approve the budget that “lacks financial and economic reforms.”

In a letter to Prime Minister Faiez al-Sarraj, the bureau said the new budget includes increased spending due to the establishment of new government departments, explaining that only the legislative authority approves the establishment of such departments in coordination with the Audit Bureau and the Central Bank of Libya.

Shakshak said the 2019 budget does not include the liquidity left from the 2018 budget, in violation to the law.

Shakshak’s letter added “the GNA’s distorted financial policy lacked a clear vision to address Libya’s economic inflation.”

The GNA approved the 2019 general budget on March 19 after months of dispute. This year’s budget witnessed an increase of LYD 42 billion, compared to last year.

The GNA’s approval of the new general budget came during a meeting held between the GNA, the Central Bank of Libya, and the Presidency Council.

Libya has been divided between the UN-backed Tripoli government and a parallel administration allied to the internationally recognized parliament in the east, part of a conflict since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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