Libya - Public finance

The fiscal year follows the calendar year. There are two budgets, one for ordinary expenses, the other (and larger one) for development. By law, 15% of total oil revenue is put aside yearly into the country's reserves, while 70% of the remainder goes to development expenditures. All non-oil revenues are assigned to cover ordinary expenditures, and any shortfall is made up by transferring some of the petroleum revenues from the development budget.

If funds from petroleum revenues are not sufficient to cover development expenses, some planned projects are postponed. Although Libya has used part of its oil revenue to finance internal development (new schools, hospitals, roads) much has been wasted. Limited privatization continued in 1993, involving the sale of some parastatal assets. In 1999, Libya announced the need for $150 billion of investment in the economy in order to retain a growth rate of 5%; 60–70% of the funds were to be financed by public monies.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 2001 Libya's central government took in revenues of approximately $9.3 billion and had expenditures of $9.2 billion. Overall, the government registered a surplus of approximately $100 million. External debt totaled $4.7 billion.

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