The House of Representatives, through the Legislative Budget Office (LBO), has released the schedule for the scrutiny of the 2022 National Budget, beginning with the revenue component.
Last Thursday, Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah, on behalf of President George M. Weah, submitted the National Budget for the Calendar Year, January 1 - December 31, 2022 in the tune of US$785,587,340.00.
On the same day, marking the 9th day Special Sitting, lawmakers voted to allow only the Committee on Ways, Means & Development Planning to probe the draft budget, excluding the Public Account & Expenditure Committee from the Budget Committee for the first time in recent years.
According to a Press Release from the House's Press and Public Affairs Bureau under the signature of Director Robert B. Haynes, the budget hearing opens on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, as well as the Liberia Revenue Authority, taking the stand before the Ways, Means and Finance Committee of the House of Representatives.
Day two, Thursday, November 25, 2021 will bring together five Agencies, to include the Liberia petroleum Refining Corporation (LPRC), National Port Authority (NPA), the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA), Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) and the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA).
The following day, Friday, November 26, 2021, another five Agencies of government are expected to appear. They are: National Road Fund, Ministry of Public Works (MPW), Forestry Development Authority (FDA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Ministry of Transport.
"Day-four, Tuesday, November 30, 2021 will bring together the Ministry of Labor (MOL), the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS), the Liberia national Police (LNP) and the National Fire Service.
Day-five, Wednesday, December 1, 2021; the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Liberia Business Registry, Ministry of Gender, Children and social Protection, Ministry of post and Telecommunication and Ministry of Internal Affairs," the schedule said.
Further, on day six, Thursday, December 2, 2021, Ministries to appear are; Ministry of Health ( MOH), John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center (JFK), Liberia Medical and Health Products Regulatory Authority (LMHRA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Judiciary.
On day seven, Friday, December 3, 2021, will bring committee members in face to face with heads of the Roberts International Airport, (RIA), National Housing Authority (NHA), the national Lottery Authority (NLT), National Transit Authority (NTA), Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) and Center for National Documentation, Records & Archives (CNDRA).
Lastly for the revenue component, on day eight, Monday, December 6, 2021, the committee will climax the first phase of the budget scrutiny of the draft National budget following the outstanding and rescheduled hearings and finalization of revenue numbers.
The House's Press Bureau release, quoting the LBO, said that all presentations will be led by heads of Institution and team and sector head Ministries will remain present for presentation by sector members.
Meanwhile, institutions that are not mentioned in the budget will be encouraged to present budgetary requests while others not appearing will submit presentations and meet the sub-Committee as the case may be.
According to the release, any agency who fails to attend the budget hearings will have a budgetary cut not to exceed 10% of lines, excluding composition, and all presentations should be submitted at least three days prior to the hearing.
The schedule of the expenditure version of the Budget will hopefully be released at the end of the Revenue Component.