Legislature Passes Budget
By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
The National Legislature has unanimously passed into law an adjusted revenue budget of US$ 660, 236, 000 for 2014/2015 pending concurrence by the Liberian Senate. The Liberian Senate concurred after a joint House Committee on Public Accounts and Ways, Means and Finance scrutinised an initial draft budget of US$ 473, 252, 000 submitted by the Executive Branch to the plenary of the House of Representatives where several adjustments were made.
The majority of the 99 institutions flagged for legislative appropriations seem to be institutions in the districts of many of the lawmakers making the national budget to be considered as a political national cake that should be apportioned to interested parties before it is passed by the National Legislature.
Academic institutions like T-Five High School, owned by Representative Thomas Fallah was apportioned US$ 50, 000, the Bushrod Foundation School owned by Representative Edward Forh was allotted US$ 40, 000 and the First Responder, an ambulance service operated by Representative Saah Joseph has an allotment of US$ 60, 000, among others.
Following a scrutinizing process carried out in consultation with the Ministry of Finance, the Liberia Revenue Authority and other major stakeholders, the budget records additional revenue from budget hearing totaling US$ 7, 047, 000, grant (core), US$ 24, 000, 000,; grant (contingent), US$50, 300, 000, borrowing (core), US$ 70, 637, 000, borrowing (contingent), US$ 10, 000, 000 as well as signature bonus from blocks 6, 7, 16 and 17 in the tune of US$ 25, 000, 000 which totals over US$ 6 million.
The legislative appropriations approved US$ 2, 300,000 for NEC, $800,000 for Internal Audit Secretariat, Liberia National Red Cross, $300, 000 and Maritime Authority to get $ 400, 000. As for the Legislature, what is termed legislative extension gets $2, 700, 000 projects, $ 5, 000, 000 and legislative restoration $5, 500, 000.
Apparently allocation for health facilities like the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, the ELWA Hospital and the Catholic Hospital which were badly hit by the Ebola virus have already taken care of in the initial budget,the legislative appropriation covered the Ganta United Methodist Hospital which is to receive US$ 200, 000; C. H. Rennie Hospital $250, 000;Phebe Hospital $200, 000; and the Bahn High School Beadatuo Clinic and theOmega Community Clinic are to receive US $75, 000 each while the Foyah Community Hospital, J. J. Korhene Health Center, Kayarta Health Center and the Beadatuo Clinic are to get US$50, 000 each.
Other health centers like Mount Barclay Clinic, Cinta Health Center, Barcolleh Clinic, Baidain Clinic, Cheboken Clinic, Mano-Wainsue Health Center, Fornutolee Clinic, Vormeme Health Center, Bahn Mission Clinic and the Grace D. Wallace Memorial Clinic will be receiving US$40, 000 each; if the budget is concurred by the Liberian Senate.
The draft budget has not been made public but the legislative’s appropriation also took into consideration the Cuttington University which is to receive US$ 20, 000.