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House forwards US$10.5m supplementary budget

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The House of Representatives has submitted a US$10 million supplementary budget to the Liberian Senate for possible passage. The supplementary budget is expected to run from February to June, 2021, capturing some key priority sectors of the government, including roads connectivity, supply of arm chairs to government secondary schools, the health sector, and improvement of the Liberia Electricity Corporation, among others.

However, it has no bearing on the current 2020/21 national budget which was passed by the two chambers last year; instead, the supplementary budget is to buttress the national budget in key areas of Weah’s government.

A letter accompanying the draft supplementary budget says the financial instrument is meant to “enable the government deliver on programs that are in critical need of funds.”

According to President Weah, his government has “realized a windfall amid mounting expenditure demands for service deliverables beyond allocations in the approved budget of the Fiscal Year 2020/2021.”

The FY 2020/2021 budget was approved in the tone of US$570.1 million. If the supplementary budget is approved, the total budget for FY 2020/2021 will be US$580.6 million.

The President indicated that sources of the supplementary budget include US$9 million from ArcelorMittal and a grant of US$1.5 million from the Kingdom of Morocco.

Further in his communication, the President outlined his expenditures as followed: RIA route pavement $900,000; Public schools chair project $700,000; Transformer project $600,000; Hospital beds $500,000; Legislative goods and services $1.4m; domestic travels $400,000; vehicle repairs and maintenance $300,000; and constituency travels $900,000.

Others are vehicle fuel and lubricant $400,000; generator fuel $600,000; printing, binding and publication $250,000; Telecommunication, internet and ICT supplies, $250,000; RIA residential lounge $250,000; public schools renovation $250,000; government’s obligation to the African Union $1,129,695; Foreign Missions Operations $370,305 and subsidy compensation $600,000.

Meanwhile, the budget has been forwarded to the committee on Ways, Means, and Finance and Budget for proper advice to plenary within two weeks.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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