GNA Deputy PM Says Rival Parties Will Work on Unifying Budget for Libya

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The Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Ahmed Maiteeq, stated that the country’s warring parties will begin working to produce a single, consolidated state budget. This is part of efforts to reach a peaceful agreement between the two sides.

“Today we are looking to unify the budget, so that the spending becomes one channel,” Maiteeq said in an interview with Reuters.

In September, he struck an agreement with the GNA’s rival, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, commander of the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA). This preliminary agreement effectively ended the eight-month blockade on oil exports by the LNA.

Libya’s daily oil production has reached 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) this week and is expected to rise to 550,000-560,000 bpd by the end of October. Libyan oil production is further estimated to reach 1,000,000 bpd by the end of the year.

Libya’s National Oil Corporation’s (NOC) revenue is funnelled through the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya (CBL). The GNA currently pays for the work of state institutions, and for the salaries of many public employees across both front lines.

However, the rival eastern-based administration in Benghazi has largely financed the LNA’s war effort, thus accumulating billions of dollars in debt. Both sides have agreed to an external audit process for their finances, which began this year.

The GNA has prepared its 2021 budget, that is expected to be 45-48 billion dinars ($38-40 billion USD). This includes funds for health, education, and other public services across the country, according to the deputy PM. He added that he expected the eastern side to present a forecast budget of 5-8 billion dinars.

“Then the delicate technical work will begin, which is to unify these two budgets until one single budget comes out. It is the backbone of the agreement (with the eastern side) – the consolidation of the budget, not percentages of oil revenues,” Maiteeq affirmed.