Senate Concurs With Lower House On US$563.6M National Budget

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The Liberian Senate during one its regular sittings

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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Is this a joke? Liberia’s “Senate Concurs With Lower House On US$563.6M National Budget.”

    How can government develop a nation with approximately 4 million people on a minuscule amount of money? Floyd Mayweather (an American Professional Boxer) made $280 million dollars (half of Liberia’s fiscal budget) in 2014. It is awful that our lawmakers paid themselves exorbitant salaries in a country where average Liberians live on $2.00 per day.

    Leadership is about maintaining political stability and creating economic growth.

    Our leaders have misguided priorities. Why allowed the Chinese to spend U.S $18 million dollars to fund S.K.Doe Sports Stadium when that money could have been appropriately allocated towards improving the poor health care system in Liberia? U.S. $18 million dollars could fund modern hospitals in Liberia’s rural counties that are very essentials to human health.

    Why is Liberia’s fiscal budget so low? Why are we not generating enough revenue to stimulate the economy? Why are we not protesting against unnecessary entitlements (perks…..government issued cars, gas, etc.) that the lawmakers received on this small budget?

    Why is Liberia’s open-door- policy not attracting many multinational companies that once operated in Liberia during the 60s and 70s when Liberia had one of the highest economic growths south of the Sahara? Is the government failure to privatize certain industries (Water/Sewer, Light, Seaports, Airports, rail transportation, and mega agro companies) resulting into low revenue income? Is the abuse of Liberia’s weak tax system preventing high revenue generation?

    Also, what are some of the Economic Barriers to Entry that are preventing economic growth in Liberia?

    Is it too much government regulations? Is it too difficult for Liberians to start their own businesses due to bureaucratic hurdles in obtaining a business license?

    Is the start-up cost too high for Liberians to obtain business loans?

    Is the lack of water and electricity makes it too difficult to apply new business technology in Liberia?

    Or, is it that the Economies of Scale favors larger companies so that Liberians are unable to produce and compete in the market because these large companies control the price market?

    Why are Liberians not focusing on growing products that unique to our tropical rainforest: Ivory Coast and Ghana are dominating the Region in Cocoa production, Liberia can dominate in coffee production.

    Last but not least, If we keep neglecting our health care system, we will keep getting the same old “rich lawmakers going abroad for medical treatment” results.

    With strong leadership, sound fiscal and decentralization policies, skilled work force, and pro-growth economy, Liberia’s meager fiscal budget could rise exponentially in the foreseeable future.

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