Libyan ruler Moamer Kadhafi proposed Thursday, March 22, hiring a foreign auditing firm to study ways for the state to trim its public payroll, which is approaching two million employees. "We must demand the services of a foreign firm to examine the essential needs of our administration and to reduce the number of functionaries which has passed 1.75 million," Kadhafi said.
Addressing the General People's Congress (GPC), Libya's legislature, which has been meeting in Sirte, some 450 kilometers (250 miles) east of Tripoli, Kadhafi advocated the cutting of those state workers who are ready to quit the public sector and are "able to take charge of themselves."
Separately, Kadhafi expressed discontent over the returns of state-owned industries and demanded that those responsible be dismissed. "We have dispensed billions of dollars for agricultural and industrial enterprises. Certain businesses were launched a quarter of a century ago, but until today they have not covered their investment costs," said Kadhafi.
Meanwhile, the GPC gave a positive endorsement to the current Libyan government and created a new department, the economy and commerce ministry. Abdel Salem Juir was appointed to head the ministry. The GPC also appointed Ahmed Abdel Hamid to head the Central Bank while the bank's former director, Tahar Jehimi, was named to the post of high counsel for planning.
In its session a year ago, the GPC dissolved most of Libya's ministries, maintaining only six. The annual session of Libya's legislature opened March 17 to examine the state budget and other government activities. — (AFP, Sirte)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)