Two Lawmakers Want End To Budget Shortfall

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MONROVIA, May 7(LINA) -Representatives Numene Bartekwa and Isaac Roland of Grand Kru and Maryland counties respectively, have said the recurring shortfall in the National Budget is undermining government’s service delivery to the people.

Representatives Bartekwa and Roland noted that as a result of the ‘shortfall’, programs earmarked by government for which funds were appropriated in the National Budget cannot be implemented as the budget year is virtually at its end.

According to the Liberia News Agency (LINA), the two lawmakers’ statements were contained in a communication addressed to House Speaker J. Alexander Tyler recommending that Plenary takes appropriate steps geared towards providing a lasting solution to the problem of budget shortfall.

In the communication read Tuesday in Session, Bartekwa and Roland recommended that Plenary sets up an ad-hoc Monitoring and Evaluation Committee to assess and review the operations of concessions with which government has signed an agreement.

They said the intent of this exercise is to ascertain whether the companies are living up to their financial obligations to the government in the spirit of the concession agreements.

The Grand Kru and Maryland counties Representatives also recommended
that Plenary invites the Minister of Finance, Amara Konneh, to report to that August body on the result of the Special Revenue Collection Taskforce he constituted and headed in February, 2014.

It can be recalled that when Konneh appeared before the Lower House in February, this year, he told the legislators that the budget shortfall came about because government’s revenue was being under-collected and promised to correct the situation.

Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives Tuesday unanimously voted to invite Finance Minister Amara Konneh next week Tuesday, to provide an update on the result of the Special Revenue Collection Taskforce.