House Scrutinizes US$535.452 Million Draft National Budget For 2020/2021 Fiscal year

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Finance Minister Samuel Tweah submits Draft National Budget to House Speaker Bhofal Chambers

The House of Representatives has received the draft national budget for fiscal year 2020/2021 from the President of the Republic of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. The draft fiscal budget, which is in the tone of US$535.452 million, was presented to the House’s Speaker, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 on Capitol Hill.

   The long-awaited 2020/2021 national budget was finally presented to the plenary of the House through the office of the Speaker on Thursday, July 16, 2020 during its 41st day sitting of the Honorable House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature. The draft budget was forwarded to the House’s Joint Committee on Ways, Mean and Finance and Public Account for proper review and reporting to plenary in a one-month period for plenary’s action.

   The 2019/2020 fiscal year budget expired on June 30, 2020, but President George Weah appealed to the National Legislature to extend the date of the budget presentation to July. By law, the draft budget should have been submitted to the National Legislature in May of this year, but was delayed for over two months as per the budget law.

   The delay in the draft budget’s submission caused panic in the general public, especially in the opposition community. Senator Darius Dillon, Montserrado County, recently appeared on a local radio expressing disappointment in the way the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government had delayed with the submission of the budget. The government’s budget is now prepared, with an input from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

   According to the draft budget, US$29.5 million will go to road and the maintenance of bridges. According to the revenue envelop, US$407.5 million, representing 76%, will come from domestic revenue, while the rest will come from other sources. US$112.0 million of the 2020/2021 national budget is considered contingency, while grant, US$45.6 million, will be used for entities delivering services.

   US$65.5 million of the draft budget represents goods and services, including educational and essential health supply. US$75.9 million, represents debt service, US$47.1 domestic debt and principal, and US$28.7 million, external debt and principal.

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