Liberia: Ellen Signs National Budget

29 August 2006

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has signed into law the 2006/2007 fiscal budget.

Presidential Press Secretary, Mr. Cyrus Badio told Executive Mansion reporters Monday that the passage of the 2006/2007 budget is in the supreme interest of the impoverished Liberians, especially the civil servants who need to get their just salaries.

Besides the payment of civil servants' salary and other pressing national issues, Mr. Badio indicated that the signing of the budget would also accelerate development programs earmarked by the government both in the short and long term period.

Before its passage and onward submission to the President, the National Legislature, in a joint conference committee, concurred in both plenary to pass a Liberian Dollar budget in an amount of LD$7.5 billion intended to run from June 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007.

On August 8, 2006, the House of Representatives submitted its adjusted version of the budget to the Liberian Senate for concurrence. Upon reviewing the document, the Senate contended that the modifications made by the lower House were unrealistic.

In its final draft, the committee excluded the Roberts International Airport (RIA), but included the Liberian Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC), and the National Port Authority with revenue intakes of US$500,000 and US$200,000 respectively to augment the amount allotted for contingency. The Committee excluded the RIA due to its inability to generate profit during this fiscal year.

Meanwhile, reports from the office of the President said it has not received any communication regarding a 72hr ultimatum given the President.

The Executive Branch said the letter from the Senate did not give an ultimatum of 72hrs, but only reminded the President to send the names of nominated officials for confirmation before they go on recess.

In another Presidential news, Presidential Press Secretary Cyrus Badio has also revealed that over 70 districts and township commissioners representing eight political sub-divisions of the country have been appointed.

Mr. Badio said the appointments of the remaining seven political subdivisions will be made once discussions are concluded with local government authorities of the districts and townships.

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