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House Receives Special Fy2021 Draft National Budget

By Bill W. Cooper
The Executive Branch of government through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) submitted to the House of Representatives a six-month Special Draft National Budget.
The submission is in-line with section 65 of the amendment and restatement of the PFM act of 2009, which provides for the change in the fiscal year and for the formulation of a special national budget of six months to pave the way for transition to the new fiscal year, which begins in 2022.
The total resource envelope, consisting of only domestic revenue, is estimated at US$301.5 million was presented to House Speaker, Bhofal Chambers yesterday at his Capitol Building office in Monrovia, for fiscal year July 1 to December 31, 2021.
Presenting the budget on behalf of Finance Ministry, Deputy Finance Minister for Fiscal Affairs, Samora Wolokollie stressed that the budget like any others show how monies are been collected and spent on public goods and services, noting that the special draft National Budget paves the way for transition to the new fiscal year which begins in 2022.
Priority areas of the special budget include Agriculture, Education, Energy and Environment, Health, Industry and Commerce, Infrastructure and Basic Services, Security and Rule of Law, Public Administration and Transparency and Accountability.
Acting Finance Minister Wolokolie explained that the Liberian economy in the framework of the document is expected to have growth that has been projected to at 3.2 percent from the slums of 3 percent, indicating that the envelope highlight key expenditures areas ranging from public debts service which total the amount of US$34.0 million amounting to 11.6 percent of the total budget.
According to him, Personnel and personnel related expenses got the total US$151.6 million of 50.3 percent of total budget, while Healthcare Service total amount is at US$4.4 million, Energy and Supplies at US$5.1 million and Infrastructure service is US$10.9 million, noting that it is particularly allocated to the road funds and key investment spending area target at Ganta-Sakaplayea corridor and the RIA runway and operational cost of the national road funds secretariat.
He added, “The government transferred the total amount of US$19.3 million, and Education got the total share of US$2.9 million, while Social and Local Development programs got the total amount of US$6.6 million of the total budget.”
Receiving the special draft budget, Speaker, Bhofal Chambers lauded the Executive branch of government for the submission of the budget, stressing, “I believe rigor measures must have been taken in the preparation of the budget.”
He explained further, “With this amount of US$301.5 to run the affairs of this nation, we hope that it will serve the best interest of our people as it is the key focus of this government to put the people first.”
Speaker Chambers vowed on behalf of his colleagues to do their best in scrutinizing the budget in order for it to commensurate with the government’s developmental agenda, adding, “Based on article 34(d) of our Constitution, we will do what is required of us and we will and commit ourselves to doing it and we expect that the Senate may in anyway cooperate and coordinate other activities.”
“We are thankful for the submission, and we hope it will serve in the best interest of our people. In consultation with you, we hope to do the best we can, and hope that this agenda center around radical thinking of the pro-poor agenda for prosperity and Development could be enhance with the collective support of everybody,” Chambers expressed.

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