President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed into law the National Budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017, according to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP). This FY’s budget is US$600,204,076, which equivalent to L$57,319,450,867. The nation’s financial year began on July 1, 2016 and ends on June 30, 2017.
According to the MFDP, for this fiscal budget resource envelope of US$600.2 million, US$524.9 million will be raised from domestic sources (taxes and non-tax revenues); US$50.2 million in grants from external resources while unspent revenue from the last budget year comprises US$2 million.
“Despite the decline in the 2016/17 National Budget, key sectors with net increases in appropriation for direct support to the country’s social service delivery plan imbedded in the Agenda for Transformation (AfT) and the Economic Stabilization and Recovery Plan (ESRP) include health, agriculture, education and transparency,” the Ministry said in a statement as they announced that the President had signed the Budget into law.
The National Budget is apportioned between Recurrent Expenditure in the amount of US$520.5 million or 86.7% and the Public Sector Investment Projects (PSIP) with US$79.7 million or 13.3%
The MFDP disclosed that key government sectors which received substantial portions of the national cake include Security — US$94.8 million, Education — US$86.2 million, Health — US$77.4 million, Infrastructure — US$42.2 million and Agriculture — US$11.9 million.
The Ministry disclosed that in order to ensure a smooth transition with the holding of free, fair and transparent Presidential and Legislative Elections in 2017, US$20 million has been appropriated as government’s direct support to the National Elections Commission (NEC).
“Even though Health continues to receive enormous support and goodwill from our partners because of the Ebola epidemic, Government is putting US$77.4 million in the sector compared to the actual spending of US$72.6 million in the last budget year,” MFDP noted.
Additionally, other key areas, programs and entities that are slated to receive needed funding in this year’s budget include the University of Liberia, US$16 million; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services, US$2 million; Coastal Defense and Beach Cleaning, US$1.4 million; Tubman University and
Booker Washington Institute, US$1.2 million.
The Finance Ministry further disclosed that US$10 million has been allotted to support UNMIL drawdown plan, while US$1 million is being appropriated for the Household Income and Expenditure Survey.