Executive Submits US$649.72m Draft Budget
The Executive branch of Government through the Ministry of Finance has submitted a draft national budget to the Liberian Legislature for fiscal year 2012/2013 in the tune of US$649.72m for passage into law.
Finance Minister Amara Konneh
Making the presentation on behalf of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Thursday at the Ministry of Information; regular press briefing on Capitol Hill Liberia’s Finance Minister Amara Konneh, said the document is a proposed multi budget that would cover the next three years.
Topping the budget is energy. Minister Konneh said government is investing US$15 million to construct a hydro plant that will bring an additional 10 megawatt power within the next 18 months.
The government is also investing additional US$10 million on the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydro, and another US$20 million on transmission and distribution infrastructure in preparation for the hydro power.
Second priority on the budget is air and seaports across the country. A fact sheet presented to the media indicate that government is investing US$10 million for the rehabilitation of the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County plus US$11 to rehabilitate the Freeport of Monrovia as well as the ports of Harper and Buchannan, respectively.
The third agenda in the draft budget is roads and bridges. The Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Administration is pumping US$13 million to construct new stock of roads and bridges nationwide with an additional US$20 million on the pavement of ongoing roads and bridges and US$8 million in the maintenance of existing stock of roads and bridges.
The budget also highlights youth development, about US$20 million for various skill and livelihood programs to empower young people across the country.
“This investment will create gainful jobs for about 20,000 young people, who make up about 65 percent of our population. This will increase the consumer base, which means greater spending in the economy and more revenue. Key investments include, agricultural produce buy back fund, community development fund for all 15 capitals of the political sub-divisions of the country; skills training and development and young entrepreneurs business development fund”, the Finance Minister added.
Konneh said the draft budget has about 26 percent increment over the current fiscal 2011/2012 budget of US$516.4m, which elapses as of today June 1st
“Borrowing of US$80.3 million to implement some of the major projects included in the government’s agenda for transformation accounts for portion of the increase”, Minister Konneh said.
Receiving the draft budget on behalf of his colleagues, Deputy Speaker Hans Barchue thanked the Executive for the submission and expressed the Legislature’s full cooperation in making sure the interests of the Liberian people are protected.