Following almost a month of legislative scrutiny, the plenary of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, finally pass into law the 2018-2019 draft National Budget.
The draft budget which was submitted by the Executive Branch of government under the signature of President George M. Weah in May of this year was in the tone of Five Hundred and Sixty-Two point Two United States Dollars (US$562.2, 000.00) prior to its passage.
But following a thorough review of the draft budget by the House’s joint committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning as well as the Public Account Committee (PAC), the budget has experienced an additional eight million increase – from US$562.2, 000.00 to US$570.148, 000.00.
Addressing his colleague’s in plenary minutes before the budget was pass, the Chairman of the joint budget committee, Thomas P. Fallah said during the review and scrutiny processes which involved the Legislature, the Ministry of Finance, and other line ministries and agencies, the committee were able identified Eight millions United States Dollars as (US$8,000. 000. 000. 00) additional and encumbered revenue.
“Hon. Speaker and fellow colleagues; the joint Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning and Public Accounts Committee presents compliments and is honored to submit its report on the Fiscal Year 2018/2019 Draft National Budget for consideration and passage. Hon. Speaker, Deputy Speaker, fellow colleagues as you all may be aware this budget was submitted by the Executive within the specified time frame and by our constitutional mandate must act so that we can allow the Executive can start doing their work,” Representative Fallah averred.
According to Representative Fallah the additional eight million in the budget were able adequately address the issues of compensation (303.4m to 310.4m); use of goods and services (78.9m to 91.1m); non-financial assets (11m to 15.12m) among others.
“This budget when passed into law, we believe will help address the urgent needs of Liberians,” the House of Representatives joint Budget Committee Chairman added.
Meanwhile, following the reading of the joint Budget committees report by the House Chief Clerk, Mildred Siryon, the body plenary unanimously endorsed the committee’s report and forwarded it to the Liberian Senate for concurrence.