Faraj Boumtari, Minister of Finance of the Government of National Accord (GNA), spoke for the first time about the ministry and its crises since he took office.
Boumtari said: “The problems that I have found since I took over the Ministry of Finance in October 2018 are plenty. The main problem is related to allocations accumulated over the years. We have employees appointed from 2014 who are owed financial dues. Either their salaries were released late or intermittently, and this will be targeted seriously.”
He pointed out that there has been continuous correspondence with the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) to request the use of surplus fees to solve these problems. “We are targeting previous settlements, the deficit of social solidarity, and struggling companies in November. We have directed the messages, and I think there will be a response to implement the MoF’s desire to pay it’s dues”, he said.
Boumtari added that “The employees of the Ministry of Health are among our priorities. Processing public releases in the ministry, and adjusting salaries related to sensitive sectors such as education and health are also main priorities.”
Boumtari explained that in the past, there were dual salaries for the same employee. The current system is under the administrative control and the Audit Bureau, and salaries are reviewed monthly.
“There are 400,000 employees who have been paid their dues from the years 2015-2018. At the same time, we have 146,000 employees with outstanding salaries, with the maximum salary owed being 20,000 LYD. This is unacceptable”, he noted. “It is also unacceptable that the salary of an employee in the MoF is 450 LYD per month. While other employees get paid more on the side,” he complained.
The Minister continued by saying: “There are neglected segments such as health, education, as well as the sovereign sectors such as finance, economy, and planning. All these categories have their salaries according to 2011 tables of a maximum of 1200 LYD. We will address this matter to reduce the large gap in salaries.”
“We have the salaries of members of the Libyan Parliament, who are paid 20,000 LYD or more, which is unacceptable, and cannot continue”, Boumtari said. “We demanded either to raise the minimum or reduce the maximum in favour of employees. There is a 40x gap between the minimum and the maximum. We demanded that it be no more than 10x. The maximum salary in the state is 4,500 LYD,” he explained.
The Minister stated: “We formed a committee to respond and address the deficiencies in the Audit Bureau’s report for the year 2018, before I took over the ministry. We have a full team working to address the deficiencies and respond to inquiries about the issues in the report.”