EconSource: Libya plans ‘smart cards’ to cut fuel subsidies that boost smuggling

Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries.

Libya plans to limit the costly subsidies its citizens enjoy when buying motor fuel – much of which is smuggled into Tunisia for resale at higher prices – by introducing a “smart card” system like one newly implemented in neighboring Egypt. When the system is in place citizens will be able to buy a limited amount of subsidized fuel, and will have to pay a normal, market price for any extra quantities. [Reuters]
Abdulmagid Breish, the chairman of Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, said it plans to hire external companies to manage about $11 billion of its assets under a restructuring plan. The Libyan Investment Authority, valued at about $66 billion by Deloitte LLP, will split its assets into three distinct funds starting as soon as next year. [Bloomberg]
Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki announced today his decision to voluntarily take a two-thirds pay cut as the government grapples with a financial situation it has described as “critical.” Presidential spokesman Adnane Mansar had said that Marzouki earned a gross monthly wage of TND 30,000 ($18,870), and a net income of TND 20,000 dinars (around $13,000). [AFP]
Yemen is considering the establishment of 13 industrial zones across its six planned administrative regions in a bid to stimulate development and create job opportunities. Yemen’s president and main political parties in February voted to transform the country into a six-region federation in line with the outputs of the National Dialogue Conference. [Al-Shorfa
Also of Interest:
Investment law approved in Egypt | Ahram Weekly
Egypt central bank to keep interest rates on hold –survey | Reuters
Op-ed: Will the [Egyptian finance] minister reform subsidies? | Mada Masr
Op-ed: Can Egypt afford quality education? | Ahram Weekly
WFP’s Cash-For-Training opens new doors to Jordan’s youth | Reuters
Moroccan state sells remaining 6 percent stake in BCP | Reuters
Tunisia promoting new image for its tourism | eturbo news, | Magharebia
World Bank grants $100 million for SMEs in Tunisia | WB
Yemeni-Gulf committee to convene next week | SABA