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Liberia: Senate Passes $782.9 Million National Budget to Bolster Economy And Fund Elections

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By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor

Senators Thursday approved a $782.9 million spending package that would fund the West African nation’s government for the 12 months financial period end Dec. 31, 2023.

The House of Representatives has early approved the budget after nearly three months of review. It now heads to the President for signature to seal the appropriation act.

Weah’s administration is expected to use the US$782.94 million to bolster the economy through increased public spending.

“As we gear up for the general and presidential elections in 2023, our focus is on enabling the democratic space by facilitating a smooth election process thereby serving as agent of change for boosting investors’ confidence and reassuring the citizens and development partners of government commitment and determination to maintain macroeconomic steadiness,’’ Deputy Finance Minister for Budget, Tanneh Bruson said in December when the budget was presented to lawmakers.

Recurrent expenditure is forecast at $623.95 million, including $91.57M for debt servicing, while the total cost of public sector investment projects is estimated at USD153.99 Million.

Improvement in domestic revenue mobilization driven by higher receipts of tax and non-tax revenues, especially taxes on international trade, income and profits underpins the 2023 budget, authorities said.

Domestic revenue accounts for $656.6 million or 84% of the $777.9 million national budget Lawmakers are currently reviewing for appropriation.

Liberia’s economy is expected to expand by 4.2% this year from a 3,7% low in 2022 after two consecutive growth contractions in 2019 and 2020.

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