-As CDC Lawmakers Show Loyalty to Executive
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
The House of Representatives has passed the Draft National Budget 2018/2019 in the tone of US$570,148,000.00 or LRD84,333,327,390.40 at the exchange rate of LRD147.9148 to US$1.00.
The House’s decision followed the reading of the final report from the Joint Committees of the National Legislature on ways, means, finance and development planning and Public Accounts.
According to the report, after the review and validation processes, they identified US$8million dollars as additional and encumbered revenue. The draft National Budget for fiscal year 2018/2019 submitted by the executive on April 30, 2018 was US$562.2million.
The expenditure component of the FY 2018/2019 previously had US$303.4million for compensation with a variance of US$7, goods and services 78.9million, variance of US$12.2, subsidies 1.5million, grants US$63.9million, social benefits 0.048, non-financial assets US$11million, variance of US$4.12, debt 30million public sector investment Projects (PSIP) US$73.4million, variance -15.32 amounting to US$562.148million plus US$8million.
After the scrutiny, legislative recast amounted to US$310.4 for compensation, US$91.1million for goods and services, US$1.5 for subsidies, grants US$63.9million, social benefits US$0.048, non-financial assets US$15.12, debt US$30 PSIP US$58.08 all amounting to US$570.148million in passed budget.
The committees were mandated as per law to conduct a vigorous and thorough scrutiny of the Draft National Budget by ensuring a comprehensive and participatory review of both the revenue and expenditure components of the draft budget. The committees said the review process involved the Legislature, the Ministry of Finance, line ministries and agencies, civil society and members of the public.
The Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Dominance:
Following the reading of the committees’ report by the Chief Clerk of the House, Mildred Sayon, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and a stalwart of the governing CDC, Bhofal Chambers immediately recognized Representative Saah Joseph of Montserrado County electoral district #13, another member of the CDC for a motion.
After the motion by Representative Joseph, the chairman of the Joint budget committees, Montserrado County electoral district five Representative, Thomas Fallah, another die-hard member of the CDC deliberated mainly raining praises on the executive branch of government for the collaboration and working in time, saying unlike in the past where the executive branch of government used to constraint them.
Immediately after Representative Fallah’s deliberations, Speaker Chambers recognized Representative Moses Acarous Gray of Montserrado County electoral district eight for a motion calling for the passage of the budget, a decision endorsed by members of that house including the presiding (Speaker Chambers).
Meanwhile, 52 members of the House of Representatives have voted for the passage of the budget, none against and one abstention.