Monrovia – The Legislature is expected to Thursday pass the budget for the fiscal year 2017/2018 with health and security reportedly taking the lions share according to the Joint Ways, Means, and Finance chair Prince Moye.
According to Representative Moye, the budget will be passed at five hundred sixty-two million United States dollars with security sector accounting for US$ 76 Million United States dollars, and health taking US$ 60 million of the total budget.
In keeping with the Constitution of Liberia, the Executive branch of government has submitted to the Legislature the fiscal year draft budget 2017/2018 in the tune of US$ 526.6 million, which accounts for 12.3 % reduction from the US$ 600.2 million approved for FY2016/2017 reflecting 3.5% decrease on the end of year forecast of US$ 545.5 million.
The budget was presented two weeks behind schedule with a total revenue envelope comprised of US$ 483.7 million in revenue raised from domestic sources (Taxes and non-tax revenue).
In the budget presented to the legislature, tax revenue of US$393.6 Million is decreased by 8.8 percent from the approved amount for an FY2016/17 budget with non-tax revenue of US$90.2 million with US$37.9 million in grants from external sources and US$4.8 million in contingent revenue from domestic resources.
The budget also shows that Non-Tax revenue of US$90.2 is projected to decrease by 8.2 percent compared to the US$98.3 million that was approved in the FY-2016/2017 budget.
According to the ministry of Finance and Development Planning is an improvement to the current year-end estimated and is driven by anticipated increase in petroleum storage fees, forestry, mineral mining, cellular mobile networks, as well as expected improvements in state-owned entities (SOEs) like Liberia Petroleum Refining company, National Port Authority and others.
The Ministry also told lawmakers during the draft budget presentation Monday that contingent Revenue of US$4.8 million will be sourced from government domestic revenue streams, driven by an increment in international trade and forestry.
In the draft budget presented, the expenditure portfolio was constrained to US$526.5 million and consists of two major segments; recurrent investment plan (PSIP) of US$27.5 million of 5.2 percent.
The major components of expenditure for FY2017/18 include; US$31 million for liabilities (debt services), US$10 Million for payment of domestic liabilities (debt) principal and interests and US20.2 million for the payment of foreign liabilities, principal, and interest.
Also in the draft budget, US$19.8 million was allotted for the conduct of the October 2017 Presidential and legislative elections, US$296 million for compensation of employees, US$81.1 million for goods and services including supplies for education and health.
The draft budget also has in it US$3.4 million in subsidies to non-governmental Service delivery entities and US60.3 million in grants to government service delivery entities.
Making a presentation of the Budget Monday, acting Finance Minister Tanneh Brumson said, the economy of Liberia like most in the world is experiencing some turbulence due in large part to the global economic downturn.