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Liberia: Special Budget to increase by over US40m

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US$4 million for Weah’s County Tour promises

By Othello B. Garblah

The Special Budget, which is expected to run from July 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, may increase by a little over US$40 million due to an increase in revenue projection and other sources of funding, Senator Prince Moye, the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee told the New Dawn Sunday, August 8.

He also disclosed that the special budget envelop has in it US$4 million that would go towards the partial fulfillment of promises made by President George Weah during his recent nationwide county tour thru LACE.

President George Weah through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on May 25, 2021, presented to the Legislature a Special Draft National Budget of US$301.5m. This special budget is a bridge to usher in a new fiscal calendar that will now run from January 1 to December 31 instead of the July 1 to June 30 fiscal period.

The special budget passage and implementation have been delayed due to a separate hearing being conducted by the House of Representative and House of Senate.

However, Sen. Moye says, the special budget is realistic and that so far the government has generated more revenue than the projected envelop of US$301.5 million.

“Besides being realistic, in fact, we have had more revenue coming in as compared to the projection. You know our partners working with us, the IMF and they have asked that we be conservative as much as possible. So as it is right now, it will be a little more than US$341 instead of the US$301Million they sent,” Sen. Moye stated.

He explained that the special budget was submitted before revenues from  ArcelorMittal were paid into Government revenue.

Asked if there has been any hurdle during these budget hearings, Sen. Moye explained that this was the first time that the Legislature was discussing the budget separately in more than a decade.

He added that this was a special budget year that runs for six months and would not address most of what the government has decided to do.

Moye said though the House of Representatives has passed on the Budget, the Senate needed to verify what the lower House has passed upon saying, they (senators) have completed hearing on the revenue side of the budget and that the committee will begin hearings into the expenditure aspect of the budget today.

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on Tuesday, 25 May presented to the Legislature a Special Draft National Budget of US$301.5m.

The draft special National Budget runs from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021. Presenting the budget, Deputy Finance Minister for Fiscal Affairs Samore Wolokolie explained that in 2009, the Budget Law was amended for a change in the fiscal year and for a formation of a special national budget to pave the way for a transition to the new fiscal year which begins 2022.

According to him, this special draft national budget like any other shows how monies have been collected or will be spent on the public, government and services, adding ”this special budget provides the summary of the Liberian economy.”Wolokollie said the framework paper of the six–month budget is expected to have a growth projected at 3.2 percent.

Additionally, Minister Wolokolie noted that particular allocation to the road fund and key investment areas are targeted to include the Ganta – Saclepea Corridor and the Roberts International Airport (RIA) runway and the operating cost of the national road fund. According to him, the government has transferred a total of US$19.3 million to education, among others. For his part, House Speaker Bholaf Chambers thanked the Executive for the submission of the budget.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/finance-submits-special-national-budget/

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