The Budget Implementation Committee of the Ministry of Economy green lighted the approval of 1130 companies to import and supply goods from abroad in November, despite the request of the Audit Bureau to cease issuing bank credits due to the massive financial corruption.
The committee pointed out in a statement that continuing to issue the bank credits comes as part of a way to tackle the large shortage in various goods in the Libyan market and that both data and legal documents will be passed on to the committee and regulatory bodies to confirm the validity of approvals in legal terms.
On more than one occasion the Audit Bureau in Tripoli has called for an end of approvals for bank credits for the supply of goods from abroad, because of the existence of irregularities and financial corruption in them.
The Audit Bureau explained that there are irregularities in the Committee on the budget of importation in the Ministry of Economy, and demanded the need to address these irregularities before being forwarded to commercial banks
The Presidential Council allocated the import budget for 2017, which amounted to 10.6 billion Dollars. The budget is to provide the basic materials needed by the state as well as goods and supplies for production operations. The budget is set and based on the results of consultations held with the Audit Bureau and the Central Bank as well as other relevant institutions.
The budget allocated for the import of goods, materials, operating and maintenance supplies for government sectors amounted to 3.9 billion Dollars, while the allocated budget for imports of goods, materials and operational supplies for the private sector and non-funded bodies amounted to 6.7 billion Dollars
The Central Bank of Libya has over the past few years been forced to use its reserves of foreign currency, which has seen the amount drop from 116 billion Dollars in 2013 to 58 billion Dollars by the end of 2016, while public debt reached 70 billion Dinars at the same time.
It is worth noting that the crisis being faced due to fraud and manipulation of the bank credits system has been continuous since late 2014 without any of the governments exhausting any efforts to eliminate it. According to experts, the establishment of fake companies to import goods are registered and with bribes to officials in the institutions concerned, the trader then applies for bank credits worth millions of Dollars. The fake company then delivers cheap goods or even empty shipping containers on some occasions, and returns the rest of the foreign currency to Libya to sell it in the black market at a price that may be 6 times the original price that he paid for it through the bank credit.