House Passes 2016/17 Budget, Seeks Senate's Concurrence
By Wilfred Gortor
MONROVIA, September 20 (LINA) - The House of Representatives has unanimously endorsed the 2016/2017 fiscal budget in the tone US$600,203,674, months after it was submitted to the body for passage.
It can be recalled that a draft budget in the tone of US$555,992,598 was submitted by the Executive on May 16 through the Ministry of Finance to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, but its passage was delayed as a result of a leadership crisis at the House.
But an ad-hoc technical budget committee in its presentation to plenary on Tuesday, said following rigorous scrutiny of the budget along with the Ministry of Finance, among other technical entities, over US$46 million was identified as additional and unencumbered revenue.
The committee said the amount was undercut by the removal of US$1.9 million from the draft budget on account of uncertainty surrounding adjusted tax revenue.
It said that these adjustments therefore ensured a net effect in terms of additional and unencumbered revenue of over US$44 million in both core and contingent revenue, thus bringing the total adjusted revenue for 2016/2017 to US$600,203,674 million or its equivalent in Liberian Dollars.
The committee disclosed that a proposal for the appropriations of the additional of over US$44 million was submitted by the Executive to the specialized committee.
The committee noted that this proposal was justified given the critical needs in the security, health, education, and basic infrastructure sector as well as the pending 2017 general and presidential elections.
Meanwhile, the House has forwarded the budget to the Liberia Senate for concurrence.
The Senate is expected to endorse the budget on Thursday, according to sources at the National Legislature.