Liberia: President Weah Wants Submission of FY 2021/2022 Draft Budget Delayed

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Capitol Hill, Monrovia – President George Weah has requested for the deadline for the submission of fiscal year 2021 Special Draft National budget to be extended by 15 working days beginning April 30, 2021.

In a communication to the House of Representatives, President Weah said reason behind the delay is due to the ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on issues relating to the resource envelop of the Special Budget as part of the broad monetary and fiscal policy review to achieve macroeconomic stability.

The President said while he and his team are conscious that this extension will reduce the time available to the Legislature to approve the national budget before the start of next fiscal year, they do not want to undermine the important role of the IMF in these processes.

He expressed optimism that the additional time requested will allow the government to address the concern of the IMF and other stakeholders, and in the process, framing up the resource envelop along with priority expenditures that can be approved in time for the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, 2021.

The introduction of the special national budget, which will cover a period of six months beginning this July 1 to December 31, 2021, is part of the Government of Liberia’s transition to a full calendar year (January 1, to December 31).

Under the current arrangement, the Public Financial Management Law (PFM) of 2009 called for the special national budget to be submitted by the end of April 2021; giving the Legislature three months to consider its passage before June 30, 2021.

The decision is in line with the amended PFM law which called for a change of the country’s fiscal year from July 31 to June 30, to January 1 to December 31.

At the launch of transition process in 2020, Finance and Development Minister, Samuel Tweah explained that the process of transitioning to the new fiscal calendar of the national budget puts the country in alignment with ECOWAS countries, particularly since the Community is transitioning to a common currency era.

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