Legislature Approves US$24.3M Supplemental Budget

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The House of Representatives, with a simple majority vote of 25, and one abstention, has concurred with the Senate to approve the supplementary funding for the Financial Year 2020/2021 worth US$24.3 million to compel the government deliver on programs that are in critical need of funds.

Members of the House voted with their right hands raised to concur on Thursday, February 25, the 13th Day Sitting of the 4th Session. The House’s decision to concur the supplementary budget is owing to a report from the Joint Conference Committee set up by both Houses to to resolve the outstanding issues on the supplemental budget.

Accordingly, the Conference Committees from the Senate and the House of Representatives agreed on five counts.

“The passage of the supplemental budget in the tone of US$10.5m from the Executive Branch was approved by the House of Representatives; that the total revenue envelop of US$9m was identified from revenue  generating entities as “Domestic Revenue: US$1.5m was identified as External Revenue Grant from the United Kingdom and that the US$10.5m submitted to the Senate by the House of Representatives, US$3.9m is proposed  as appropriation for the Public Sector Investment Programs with emphasis on roads Infrastructure, health, education and aviation related projects, while US$0.600m and  US$1.129m for subsidies and debts,” the report said.

It added: “That additional proposal was submitted by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning in the amount of US$13.8m he appropriated for the settlement and offset portion of Government of Liberia Debt to LBDI. This amount resulted from Revenue in Transit reconciled by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and LBDI, and that the total budget of US$24.3m be passed by the Legislature as the supplemental budget.”

Further, the Conference Committees proposed passage: “An Act to approve the Supplemental Budget for the Fiscal Period Beginning July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021, providing for the expenditure of the Government of the Republic of Liberia in the tone of US$24.3m be approved; that upon the passage, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MPDP) provides a schedule of the PSIP to the relevant committees for monitoring and accountability and that upon passage, MPDP provides the totlay liabilities owes LBDI after the payment of US$13.8m to serve as a guide to payments.

Meanwhile, it can be recalled that prior to setting up the conference committees to resolve differences in the supplemental budget, the President wrote the House of Representatives that his government has “Realized a windfall amid mounting expenditure demands for service deliverables beyond allocations in the approved budget of the Fiscal Year 2020/2021.”

The President outlined his expenditures as follows: RIA route pavement US$900,000; Public school chair project US$700,000; Transformer project US$600,000; Hospital beds US$500,000; Legislative goods and services US$1.4m; domestic travels US$400,000; vehicle repairs and maintenance US$300,000; and constituency travels US$900,000.

Others are vehicle fuel and lubricants US$400,000; generator fuel US$600,000; printing, binding and publication US$250,000; Telecommunication, internet and ICT supplies, US$250,000; RIA residential lounge US$250,000; public schools renovation $250,000; GOL obligation to the African Union US$1,129,695; Foreign Missions Operations US$370,305 and subsidy compensation related US$600,000.

The additional the US$13.8m was provided by the MFPD to off-set the debt to LBDI.

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