Liberia News: HOUSE BEGINS DELIBERATIONS ON 2024 BUDGET

 

By Mark N. Mengonfia

 

Monrovia-April-3-TNR:The House of Representatives has turned over the 2024 draft National Budget to its Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning to scrutinize it before its passage. The instrument was resubmitted to that august body before its quarterly break.

In a communication that accompanied the budget, President Joseph Boakia said the successful execution of the 2024 national budget in a credible fashion will require that they take certain deliberate actions collectively as a government.

“Firstly, fiscal discipline must be our guiding principle for budget execution. The Amended and Restated PFM Act, the PFM Regulations, and the Fiscal Rules must be adhered to by all at all times” he said.

The Liberian leader said heads of spending entities must exercise their fiduciary responsibility to ensure the highest degree of fiscal probity and accountability as the budget holders.

“We must be reminded about the requirements of the PFM Law that spending entities make periodic reports to facilitate routine audits” he said. According to him, adherence to these requirements has been the missing link in the budget execution and must be restored.

“I urge heads of spending entities to lend their fullest cooperation as we endeavor to depart from business as usual to pursue a path of transparency and accountability in public financial management” the Liberian President said.

What is it that the lawmaker is scrutinizing?

Plenary’s mandate is for members of that committee to make a report after two weeks of hearing. They are to look into the resource envelope and advise Plenary if the budget should pass or not. The proposed resource envelope for the FY2024 budget is projected at US$692.4 million, of which Tax Revenue accounts for US$540.2 million or 78 percent and Non-tax Revenue of US$109.8 million or 16 percent. Externally sourced revenue is projected at US$42.4 million or 6 percent of the revenue estimate Compared to the FY2023 budget outturn of US$793.3 million, the FY2024 budget represents a decrease of 12.7 percent.

“This fall is mainly attributed to a decrease of US$144.6 million in external financing,” the President said.

According to the Liberian President, in order to manage the debt portfolio which crowds out spending on critical priorities, his administration has decided to exercise fiscal restraint and discipline when it comes to acquiring new debts.

“This decrease will be offset by increases in Tax Revenue of US$16.7 million or 3% and Non-Tax Revenue of US$27.0 million or 33%” the president said.

 

 

 

 

 

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