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Libya adopts budget after delays over crisis

Libya's interim parliament adopted the 2014 budget worth some US$48 billion, after long delays due to political chaos and unrest that has plagued the oil-rich nation.

TRIPOLI: Libya's interim parliament on Sunday adopted the 2014 budget worth some US$48 billion, after long delays due to political chaos and unrest that has plagued the oil-rich nation.

The official Lana news agency said the budget approved by the outgoing General National Congress was based on an oil price of US$100 per barrel, with production of 800,000 barrels per day.

It forecast a deficit of US$8 billion.

Libya's oil-dependent economy, which has been struggling since the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Moamer Gadhafi, took a severe beating when rebels blockaded export terminals last year.

Their seizure of four terminals, part of campaign for greater autonomy for the eastern region of Cyrenaica, slashed output from 1.5 million barrels per day to just 200,000 bpd.

But the government reached a deal in April to regain control of the terminal, taking back two of them.

Libya, which relies on oil for 96 per cent of its gross domestic product, says the blockade has cost the country more than US$14 billion (10.1 billion euros) in lost revenues.

On a monthly basis, the central bank estimates revenues have plunged to only US$1 billion from US$4.6 billion.

An International Monetary Fund-World Bank assessment on Libya this year forecast that a contraction of GDP that reached 5.3 per cent last year would widen to eight per cent in 2014.

Power struggles in parliament and between rival governments in the past few weeks as well as growing unrest since the end of the NATO-backed revolt had delayed the vote on the 2014 budget.

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