Following protracted delay in the submission of the draft national budget, the executive, thru the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning finally submits the financial instrument for FY 2021 in the US$535 million to the House of Representatives for scrutiny and subsequent passage.
Making the presentation on behalf of the government, Finance Minister Samuel Tweah said, the budget priorities infrastructures, including roads, health and education as well as general well being of Liberians.
On behalf of the executive, Tweah expresses regret for the delay in submission of the budget, but adds that his ministry is impressed with the level of understanding from the leadership and members of the House of Representatives.
Accordance the Public Finance Act of 2008, the fiscal year budget starts July 01 every year and ends June 30, which means the draft budget is expected to be presented by end of April for proper scrutiny thru public hearings.
However, Section 17 of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act of 2009 states that in the case where the Legislature is unable to approve the national budget before the start of the fiscal year, the Minister of Finance is authorized to collect revenues and approve expenditures in line with the proposed budget.
The law adds that the money should be up to one-twelfth (1/12) of the previous fiscal year budget and that its expenditure shall be included in the subsequent financial outturn. A recast budget by the executive ended since June, but the government has reneged on submission of the draft budget before the House of Representatives. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor
Meanwhile, Tweah expresses anticipation that the House committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget would fast track the budget hearing process to enable the government meets its financial obligations to partners, employees, and international groupings.
Speaker Bhofal Chambers receives the national draft budget and assures that the House will work tirelessly to ensure the document is professionally scrutinized. Editing by Jonathan Browne