Monrovia – Following months of thorough scrutiny and public hearings, members of the House of Representatives voted to pass the National Budget with a little over US$ 563 Million Budget to fund the government from July 2017 – June 2018.
The decision to pass the National Budget in the amount of US$563,563,423.00 was taken Tuesday, 18th July during the 49th day sitting following recommendations from the Joint Committee, comprises of Ways, Means, Finance, and Development Planning as well as the Public Account and Expenditure.
On 21 May, the Executive Branch submitted the Draft 2017/2018 National Budget to the Legislature in the tone of US$526,548,000.00 for legislative action.
Hon. Prince Moye, who chairs the Ways, Means, Finance, and Development Planning, informs his colleagues that the Joint Committee worked along with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Liberia Revenue Authority and members of the public before passing the National Budget.
He disclosed that US$70 million were identified as additional and unencumbered revenue; thus increasing the total adjusted revenue from US$526, 548,000 to US$563,563,423 or LD$61, 428,414,088 at the exchange rate of LD$109 to US$1.00.
In its report, the Committee provided details on the breakdown of the additional amount of revenue captured during the budget proceedings.
“Of this total amount, US$11,968,188 is considered as contingent revenue comprising tax, no tax, and the World Bank Millennium Challenge Corporation Road Fund and US$25, 047,244.00 is considered as a core revenue comprising also tax, no tax, and the World Bank Millennium Challenge Corporation Road Fund”.
The Joint Committee stated in the report.
It also explains that the additional amount of US$37 million identified in revenue considers critical needs in the Justice and Security, Health, Education, Infrastructure, Judiciary, and the pending 2017 Representatives and Presidential elections.
The budget was passed without any increment to civil servant salary in defence of why the legislature took that decision Chairman Moye said, the committee saw security, Judiciary and Elections as priorities issues that needed more support compared to the increment of Civil Servant salary that could be done in the next budget.