17 May 2018

Liberia: Budget Hearing Postponed Due to President's Cabinet Retreat

House Chairman on Ways, Means and Finance, Rep. Thomas Fallah, announced the postponement of budget hearings to Monday, the 21st of May.

The 2018/2019 Budget Hearing has been postponed to Tuesday, May 22, following an appeal from President George Weah through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).

Representative Thomas P. Fallah, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Budget, Public Accounts and Audit of the 54th Legislature, made the disclosure yesterday immediately following the opening of the Revenue Component of the 2018/2019 Budget Hearing.

The decision of the legislature followed an appeal from Finance Minister Samuel Tweah, who told the Joint Committee on Budget, Public Accounts and Audit that members of the Presidential Cabinet Retreat are "seriously writing a policy for presentation during the retreat as well as matters surrounding the projected US$562.2 million of the 2018/2019 budget."

The two-day Presidential Cabinet Retreat will be held on Thursday and Friday in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.

However, during the formal opening of the Budget hearing on Tuesday in the Joint Chambers, a delegation of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) was present, led by Mrs. Decontee T. King Sackie.

According to House's Press Director, the schedule for next Monday includes Finance Minister Tweah and Mrs. Sackie of LRA; Liberia Petroleum Refining Corporation Managing Director Nyemade Pearson, Labor Minister Moses Y. Kollie and the officer-in-charge of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), who are expected to make presentations.

According to the adjusted schedule, the Revenue Component will run from May 22 to June 1, while the Expenditure Component will run from June 1 to June 20, as both the hearings will be held between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Constitutionally, after review of the budget, the two Houses will separately approve the 2018/2019 budget with the signatures of Chief Clerk Mildred Sayon and Speaker Bhofal Chambers, as well as the signatures of the secretary of the Senate and the Vice President.

The president would be the last person to sign on the draft 2018/2019 budget, which will become a law when printed into handbills by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It may be recalled that President George Weah recently submitted to the legislature the proposed budget of US$562.2 million, targeting the government's projection for revenue and expenditure for fiscal year 2018/2019.


Leroy M. Sonpon, III


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