Maryland County Senator Gbleh-bo Brown says the Liberian Senate will thoroughly scrutinize the 2016/17 Draft National Budget currently before it for better impact on the Liberian people.
Speaking to reporters at his Barnesville residence in Monrovia over the weekend, Senator Brown, who is a member on the Senate’s Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, said this year’s budget will be done in a way that projects earmarked by the Executive will be named and their locations provided before passage.
“If the Executive wants to construct schools, the Executive through the budget should be able to tell the county, district or even clan; in that process it will be transparent and the sense of accountability will be the hallmark of the day but they if failed to do so, it would delay the passage,” he said.
According to him, past budgets were treated in buck figures, meaning projects are placed with huge figures with no indication of how those earmarked projects will be executed. He noted that some members of the legislature at times lost track of projects named in the budget for implementation only because school or hospital construction is not detailed.
Senator Brown, who worked with the United Nations prior to his election to the Liberian Senate, said this new methodology if accepted by his colleagues, will help enforce completion of projects which in the near future will be seen and used by the public.
He also said the senate will institute measures that will help to curtail budget shortfall, which the government experienced for the past years. He pointed out that the Executive through the Finance, Planning and Development Ministry and the senate will have to work closely with the Liberia Revenue Authority to find a smooth way to avoid budget shortfall, noting that it would be a lazy thing for the government to continue crying of prices dropping on the world market thus, not meeting its projections.
“We have to come up with key indicators that guide this fiscal year to avoid budget short.” He noted that the senate is yet to endorse this year’s national budget, something he said may not be key concern of the senate; instead the draft national budget is the target.
The Government, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning recently submitted to the office of Speaker Alex Tyler, a draft national budget for the 2016/17 fiscal year. Speaking at the Capitol during the presentation, Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima Kamara, said the total projected revenue envelop was US$555.9 Million, comprising US$495.5m for Core Domestic Revenue, US$30.2m as Grant and US$30.1m as Contingent Domestic.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne