Monday, June 8, 2009

POLITICS AND SOCIETY

US$ 347 M Budget Under Scrutiny
Morlu, Ngafuan, Tarpeh and Others Face House Tomorrow

The much awaited Public hearings of the over US$300 million draft national budget submitted to the National Legislature would begin tomorrow with John S. Morlu III, Auditor General of Liberia and head of the General Auditing Commission (GAC) ; Professor Wilson K. Tarperh, Liberia’s former representative to the African Development Bank (ADB); Finance Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan and other leading financial experts appearing before the legislature.
The Draft National Budget for fiscal year 2009/2010 was submitted to the august assembly by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on May 19, 2009.
The hearings which would be held in the conference room of the Lower House would begin at 12 P.M.
other cream of experts who are slated to participate in the hearings include the Chairman of the Department of Economics at the University of Liberia(UL), Professor Geegbae A. Geegbae as well as representatives of Liberian Civil Society organizations.
They are expected to critically scrutinize the budget and advance informed recommendations to the national legislature in the best interest of the country.
The deliberations would lead to what one analyst called a complete scrutiny of the various allocations for various ministries and autonomous agencies of government as enshrined in the draft budget with the intent to carry out adjustments where necessary.
The discussants are also expected to focus on the revenue component of the 2009/2010 draft budget.
The director for Press of the House of Representatives, Isaac Redd quoting the Chairman of House Committee on Ways, Means, Margibi County District #1 Rep. Emmanuel Nuquay, told legislative reporters yesterday that the committee has decided to look at the proposed budgetary allotments to state institutions including National Port Authority (NPA), National Oil Company, Ministry of Post & Telecommunication, Ministry of Labor, Liberia Petroleum Refining Company(LPRC), Bureau of Maritime Affairs, Ministries of Transport, Foreign Affairs among others.
According to Mr. Redd, phase two of the public hearing would begin on Monday June 8, 2009 with focus on the allotments for the Ministry of Commerce, Robert International Airport (RIA), Ministries of Health & Social Welfare; Lands Mines & Energy as well as Civil Aviation Authority, among others.
The Press Director further indicated that the passage of the budget by the House of Representatives would take place on June 16, 2009.
The total draft national budget as submitted to the National Legislature by President Sirleaf is in the tune of US$347,035,687Million.

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