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Liberia: US$806.5M restated budget passed

The House of Representatives has passed the Draft Restated National Budget for Fiscal Year 2022 in the tone of US$806,587,341.

The House took the decision here Thursday, 7 July during its regular session following communication from President George M. Weah, submitting for legislative action a proposed Restatement of the F/Y2022 National Budget in the total amount of US$806,587,341 (Eight Hundred Six Million Five Hundred Eighty-Seven Thousand Three Hundred Forty-One United States Dollars).

President Weah says the submission is from the context that the restatement is necessitated by the need to address urgent and unforeseen national expenditure demands through reprioritization of the Country’s spending plan.

Recent economic challenges have become very daunting as the stark realities of spiraling prices of basic commodities take hold in the wake of global economic uncertainties, resulting from the Russia and Ukraine crisis.

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The total revenue envelope for the proposed Restated Budget is US$806,587,341, reflecting a net upward adjustment of US$20,000,001, or 2.9 percent over the originally approved budget of US$785,587,340.

According to the President’s letter, the extra fiscal space was yielded through internal reprioritization of existing programs, identifying additional resources, as well as a World Bank Loan of US$15,000,000 (Fifteen Million United States Dollars.)

Recurrent expenditure is estimated to be US$ 648,552,000 (Six Hundred Forty-Eight Million Five Hundred Fifty-Two Thousand United States Dollars) or seventy-nine percent of total proposed expenditure, while expenditure for public sector investment is estimated to be US$158,035,000 (One Hundred Fifty-Eight Million Thirty-Five Thousand United States Dollars) or twenty-one percent of total proposed expenditure.

Additional recurrent allocations have been made in the Restated Budget for critical objects of expenditure such as Pension for Retired Civil Servants, Subsidy for Provision of Electricity, and Repayment of a Foreign Obligation that has fallen due.

“Here is a breakdown of recurrent allocations by major expenditure object as captured in the President’s communication to the House:

Goods and Services is put at US$4,000,000, Debt Service: 1,500,000 while Social Benefits: 2,500,000 Totaling 8,000,000″.

Under the Public Sector Investment Expenditure

Highlights of allocations for Public Sector Investment Projects (PSIP) in the restatement include allocations for Obligations to the CLSG Electricity Grid, Rice Stabilization, Community Development Project, Completion of the 15th Judicial Circuit Court Complex in River Gee County and the 3rd Judicial Circuit Court Complex in Sinoe County, respectively and allocation for Solid Waste Management.

President Weah notes that Liberians have observed the potential risk of disadvantaged youths for whom government must take action to reform them. Thus, his government has initially allocated US$1,000,000 (One Million United States Dollars) for an Annual National At-Risk Youth Program. The total amount earmarked for PSIP is USD$33,375,000 (Thirty-Three Million Three Hundred Seventy-Five Thousand United States Dollars).

Following a motion by Montserrado County District#8 Representative Acarous Moses Gray, the restated budget was passed and sent over to the Liberian Senate for concurrence. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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