By Dorcas T. Gboerreh-Boe
MONROVIA, Oct .10 (LINA) -The House of Representatives has approved the country’s budget for fiscal year 2020/2021 in the tone of US$570.1 million.
The budget, which was approved 84 days after its submission by President George Weah, is in excess of what the Liberian leader presented to the House of Representatives.
According to the House, the US$570.1 million budget was passed in that amount instead of the US$535.4 million version previously submitted by the President after discovering additional revenue of US$34,659,000 as a grant from the African Development Bank, road fund arrears, domestic taxes, and fees.
The approved budget was increased by about US$34 million of its submission amid the fight against the coronavirus and US$44 million more than the previous budget of 2019/2020 (US$526 million).
In Thursday’s session, 32 voted for the passage and one abstained, being Nimba County District #5 Representative, Samuel Kogar. In a conversation with the media, Rep. Kogar said his abstention was based on the lack of detailed information on the budget.
According to the reports, the Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Public Accounts and Expenditure said the budget revenue was stated as US$535,452,173, as follows: tax revenue, US$333.56 million; non-tax revenue, US$73.89 million; internal resources, US$118 million; and cash carried forward, US$10 million.
“After robust hearings and consultations,” the Joint Budget Committee said, “the Committee concluded a revenue envelope of US$570.1 million as follows: African Development Bank, US$14 million; Liberia Business Registry, US$1.5 million; Liberia Immigration Service, US$1,019,000; and the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company US$750,000.”
“Other sources of revenue include: Liberia Telecommunication Authority US$1,356,000; Ministry of Foreign Affairs US$206,000; Ministry of Transport US$2,028,000; National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority, US$1,100,000; Road Fund/LPRC US$1,700,000; Revenue (new excise policy) $11,000,000 and additional revenue $34,659, 000,” the Joint Budget committed added.
The budget, upon its passage by the House of Representatives was forwarded to the Senate for concurrence