MONROVIA, Montserrado – President George Weah’s government has finally submitted the draft budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year to the legislature. The fiscal year has already begun and the draft budget was submitted months later than the legal requirement of the end of April.
Finance Minister Samuel Tweah submitted the budget to the legislature on Wednesday, July 15 on behalf of Pres. Weah.
In a previous communication to lawmakers, the president explained that certain constraints would require additional time to gather resources from donors and other external partners, causing a delay in the submission of the budget. These constraints were related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the president added.
The budget submitted on July 15 totals US$535,446,000.
Presenting the budget on Capitol Hill, Tweah said the budget will focus mainly on paying salaries to civil servants.
“One year ago, we presented a similar budget at about this same time where the country was going through a fiscal challenge. The government was in arrears with salaries for two months, while we were recovering from fiscal shocks, thereby embarking on a reform process of our budget critically to ensure it performs,” Tweah said.
“This budget has the ambition to be significantly different than the budget we saw last year.”
Receiving the national budget, House Speaker Bhofal Chambers thanked the executive branch for submitting what he called an important tool for national development.
“Though it was delayed and there were difficulties in the process of submission, but again it happened in line with promises made,” Chambers said.
The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has not yet published details of the budget on its website.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah