The Senate with a vote of nine for, three against and no abstention, concurred with the House of Representatives to pass the National Budget for the fiscal year in the tune of US$563,563,432 million.
The Senate received the passed budget from the House of Representatives on Thursday, but voted to send it to its Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget for review and recommendation to plenary at its agreed extraordinary session on Friday.
At the poorly-attended special sitting, the committee, which formed part of the joint committee that conducted hearings in preparation of the budget, through its chair and co-chair, Senators Edward Dagoseh and Henry Yallah respectively, recommended that the Act, which takes effect July 1, 2017 thru June 30, 2018, be concurred “for the expenditure of the Government of Liberia…”
It can be recalled that the government through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning recently submitted as Core Revenue Envelop as per FY2017/2018 Draft Budget to the tune of US$523,560,312; with Contingent Revenue Envelope per FY2017/2018 Draft Budget of US$2,987,688, totaling US$526,548,000.
According to the Senate Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, during the hearings, adjustments were made in three areas including: tax revenue, US$692,261.00; adjustment in non-tax revenue, US$18,891,797; and adjustment to World Bank Loan/Grant US$5,000,000.
The committee’s report also showed “additional brought forward from FY2016/2017 in consolidated fund in the amount of US$1,847,708; total additional core amounted to US$25,047,244.”
With respect to the Contingent Revenue, the report shows an additional revenue from adjustment in tax revenue, US$6,218,188; adjustment in non-tax revenue, US$750,000; and adjustment to WB MCC (Road Fund) $5,000,000, which brings total additional contingent to the amount of US$11,968,188; total additional revenue amounts to US$37,015,432, bringing the Total Adjusted Revenue for FY2017/2018 to US$563,563,432 million.
It is interesting to note that none of the presidential aspirants in the Senate, Senators Prince Y. Johnson, Oscar Cooper and George Manneh Weah, or even Senator Jewel Howard Taylor running mate to Sen. Weah, participated in the vote to pass the budget, which would be used by any of them, should they become victorious in the October elections.