Legislature Receives US$526.5 Million Draft Budget

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The House of Representatives has received the proposed draft budget for the 2017/2018 fiscal period, as required by laws.

The budget, in the tune of US$526.5 million, was submitted on Monday, by deputy finance minister for budget, Tanneh Brumson, on behalf of the executive branch.

House Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay received the draft budget, as head of the Legislature.

Nuquay said the legislature would ensure that the development needs of the Liberian people were captured in the document.

He also indicated that the timely passage of the budget would rely on the cooperation of the executive, and called on the Sirleaf administration to act in such manner.

“You prayed that this House or the legislature should consider timely passage of the budget; but I want to indicate quickly before proceeding further that timely passage requires providing to the members of the legislature copies of the national budget,” he pointed out.

“As you have done the symbolic presentation, it’s our prayers that in the soonest possible time that the required copies will be presented to all members of the legislature, so as to enhance a subsequent passage of this budget.”

Being fully aware that this is an election year, he said in order to provide needed funding for the electoral process, and also considering that it is the final year of the current administration, with crucial projects to be completed, he said relevant stakeholders must ensure that the budget is passed in a timely manner to allow for execution on July 1, 2017.

Brumson said the delay in the submission of the draft budget is attributed to current financial difficulties affecting the economy.

She said the budget is a 12.3 percent reduction from the US$600.2 million approved in the previous year.

“The tax revenue consist of US$393.6 million, and is a decrease by 8.8 percent from the budget of fiscal year 2016/2017,” she said.

In terms of non-tax revenue, she said the amount is US$90.2 million. US$39.7 million would be generated from grants and external sources in revenue envelope while US$4.8 million would come in contingent revenue as part of the domestic resource envelope.

Brumson disclosed that US$19.8 million of the budget was allocated for the October 2017 presidential and legislative elections, while US$2.1 million would be included for election security.

Featured photo courtesy of David Stanley

Gbatemah Senah

Senah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. Between 2017 and 2019, he won six excellent reporting awards from the Press Union of Liberia. They include a three-time Land Rights Reporter of the Year, one time Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Human Rights Reporter of the Year.

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