Finance Minister Amara Konneh has announced that preparation of the national budget for the next fiscal year has begun.
He made the disclosure at the commencement of a two-day cabinet retreat held at the Baptist Seminary along the Robertsfield highway on Friday, February 22, 2013.
At the two-day technical working session were Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Liberia's international partners and representatives of the three branches of government.
The Finance Minister, who is also National Coordinator for the Liberia Development Alliance or LDA, said another meeting will be held this week with ... comptrollers at government ministries and agencies, having already written ministers to encourage comptrollers to build up so that results coming out of the two day sessions can be fruitful in terms of government's obligation to be properly budgeted.
"That is why this retreat is so critical. And I hope we can go in there and work hard to agree on what we can do. We have invited the civil society organizations, and the private sector here so that we can use this forum to begin to address some of the issues affecting private sector activity," said Minister Konneh.
He revealed that since the launch of the LDA on 23 January 2013, there has been only a meeting on one pillar. He called for an immediate one hour meeting after the first session for pillar chairs, co-chairs and alternates to convene in order to set the agenda for the technical work.
"In that way we can go into the sectorial discussions to pin down the deliverables in the first year. The 90 days period will start April 1, 2013," said the Minister.
Notwithstanding, he said the cost of the Agenda for Transformation (AFT) currently stands at US$3.3 Million. He said the Liberian Government has met with development partners and they have all suggested that a consultant be brought in to confirm and validate the amount.
So far, he said the consultant has validated the number, and assured that the cost of the AFT under the five years period will be presented after sessions, following which they will move toward mobilizing the resources, beginning with the government's budget, among others.