President Weah’s recast budget exempts Legislature, Judiciary and Ministry of State
President George M. Weah has submitted an adjusted recast budget of US$536.2 million of the 2017/2018 Fiscal Year, which indicates a cut of 100% of “other goods and services” that summed up to US$27.4 million. The previously approved budget was US$563.5 million.
The recast budget, aimed at addressing resource constraints while ensuring efficient service delivery over the remaining period of the 2017/2018 fiscal year, from February 1 – June 30, 2018 was submitted for ratification by the House of Representatives.
According to the summary from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), the strategy of the adjusted recast budget is to protect essential items, such as compensation, drugs, food, among others.
According to the summary, fuel is reduced by 55% across all institutions except for the LRA, medical facilities, the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Security Sector.
Moreover, there is a 50% cut to telecommunications and workshops across all spending entities (excluding Legislature and the Judiciary). Similarly, there is a 55% cut to travels except for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Legislature, Ministry of State and the Judiciary.
Meanwhile, President Weah, in a letter to House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers, said the persistence of macroeconomic shocks arising from the fall in the prices of the nation’s major exports has seriously impacted revenue generation and the consequences of the adverse budget impact is a shortfall of US$83.7 million in expected revenue as at January 31, 2018.
“This situation has necessitated a revision of the original approved budget of US$563.5 million to realistically align expenditure with revised revenue projections,” President Weah wrote.
The President said the approved revenue envelop for 2017/2018 was US$563.5 million (about 6.1% reduction) to the approved amount of US$600.2 million for 2016/2017 budget.
“Of the approved 2017/2018 resource envelop, tax revenue accounts for US$401.4 million (71.2%); non-tax revenue accounts for US$100.4 million (17.8%); grants is US$54.9 million (9.7%); on budget borrowing is US$5.0 million (0.9%) and carry forward accounts for US$1.8 million (0.3%),” the President said in his letter.
He added: “However, as at January 31, 2018, the total revenue collected was US$231.6 million (about 41.1% of the projected revenue), which included US$226.8 million from domestic revenue and US$4.8 million from grants, resulting in uncollected revenue of US$332.0 million. The revised resource envelope now stands at US$536.2m.”
Meanwhile, the recast budget received its first reading on Thursday, March 8, during the 16th day sitting and it was unanimously voted for the budget to be forwarded to Ways, Means, Finance & Development Planning and Public Accounts & Expenditure committee, which should report to the plenary on Tuesday, March 12.