The Central Bank (CB) of Libya has disclosed the financial status for public revenue and expenditure regarding the first two quarters of 2023.
The report clarified that the net revenue for the government during this period was merely 4.5 billion dinars, as the total expenditures of the state amounted to 45 billion in the first half of this year, while state revenue was 49.5 billion dinars.
Libya as a rentier state continues to rely on the oil and gas sector as the main source of revenue. In its report on public revenue and spending, the bank stated that oil sales revenues were 33.4 billion dinars, and oil royalties 4.7 billion, while oil royalties for previous years reached 10.3 billion dinars. On the other hand, tax revenues and customs revenues together barely passed 420 million dinars, representing a minor fraction of the state’s total revenue.
An important part of the report was the defecate in the revenues vs spending regarding foreign exchange during this period, as foreign exchange revenues were at the equivalent of around 10 billion US dollars while foreign exchange uses passed 21 billion US dollars.
High public spending remains a trend in Libya, as government salaries alone amounted to 27.8 billion dinars, whilst other items such as administrative expenses and subsidies also represented significant amounts. Libya’s different bodies of political authority represent also important weights within the overall picture of financial spending. With the House of Representatives (HoR) and the Prime Ministry each having expenses in the first six months of the year that were around the billion-dinar mark, whilst the Presidential Council and the High Council of State (HCS) were at the hundreds of millions and tens of millions ranges respectively.
In recent years several proposals from local and international stakeholders to diversify Libya’s economy and manage public spending have been presented. However, continued political instability has hindered the efforts on making this a tangible priority.