The House of Representatives Chairperson on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, Bong County Representative Prince Moye, says the 2017/18 Draft National Budget will be passed speedily.
Speaking at the official opening of budget hearing at the Capitol Building on Monday, 5 June Representative Moye says there are pressing needs of the State, including the conduct of free, fair, transparent, and peaceful elections in October.
Giving a breakdown of the process that would lead to the speedily passage of the budget, he explains that the joint committee of both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate will spend two weeks on expenditure agencies of government to provide expenditure reports, while revenue generating agencies will also face the committee to convince the lawmakers how funds being projected could be raised, and one week for in-house working by members of the Legislature.
Moye continues that at the close of the three-week activities, the draft budget will be submitted for possible passage by the plenary of the House of Representatives. The budgetary period here for the government starts from June and ends on June the following year.
The draft resources envelope for fiscal year 2017/18 is US$526,548,333,00. Of this amount, US$523, 560, 321, 06 is projected as core revenue; while US$2,987,687.98 is contingent revenue, and total projected revenue from domestic resources mobilization stands at US$476, 608, 00.00 or 91 percent.
External resources account for US$49,940,000, which represents nine percent; from economic sectors perspective, the largest portion of domestic revenue comes from the general business sector, accounting for US$152.8 million or representing 29 percent of domestic resources.
According to the budget guide, the extractive sector represents 12 percent of domestic resources, accounting for US$55.1 million of which forestry is US$10.4 million, agriculture US$12.3 million, and mining US$32.4 million, respectively, among others.
The Executive Mansion on 22 May submitted what is expected to be President Sirleaf’s last budget to the Liberian Legislature in the tune of US$526.5M for Fiscal Year 2017/2018, a 12.3 percent reduction from last fiscal year’s US$600.2M approved for 2016/2017.
Presenting the Draft Budget to the Legislature, Deputy Finance and Development Planning Minister, Tanneh Brumson, defended that financial instrument reflects 3.5 percent decrease on the end -of-year forecast of US$545.5m.
House Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay, who received the draft budget, noted that in line with law, government should have presented the document on 30 April, to allow effective scrutiny before passage into law.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne