-Sen. Dillon Questions Executive Over Status Of Recast Budget Since The Passage of Resolution For Stimulus Package
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
Senator Abraham Darius Dillon of Montserrado County wants the Executive Branch of government through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to submit the recast budget.
Senator Dillon wonders why the recast budget has not been submitted since the passage of the Resolution for State of Emergency and the stimulus package.
The National Legislature passed a resolution on April 17, 2020 endorsing a proposal from President George Weah for State of Emergency and stimulus package for Liberians during the lockdown and curfew currently in place.
The approved stimulus package contains provision of food for Liberians, hazard pay to health workers, debts payments for market women and informal business people, recasting of the current budget to suit current situations in the country among others.
However, the stimulus package has been approved since April 17, 2020 without the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning submitting the recast budget to the Legislature which will set the pace for food distribution, hazard benefits to health workers, debt payments among others.
Meanwhile, addressing a news conference Tuesday May 12, 2020 at his Capitol Building office, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon lamented that they (Lawmakers) need to be very careful or else they will experience the questionable status of U$25million for mop-up exercise which was unaccounted for.
The Montserrado County lawmaker said since the approval of stimulus package, no measure has been taken by the Executive Branch to recast the budget.
He said it’s troubling and concerning that the executive has failed to submit the recast budget. The opposition Liberty Party stalwart further said “We don’t see to be exerting our oversight responsibility. Almost one month we passed the Resolution containing the stimulus package, we don’t see anything going to our people.”
“The fact that they set a date for food distribution means they are purchasing food already without recast budget. Please ask the Finance Minister to submit the recast budget. Where is the recast budget? We shouldn’t be placed in test case to be blamed by our people. The legislature approved $25million for mop up exercise which was unaccounted for and the Legislature doesn’t have the buds to investigate,” Senator Dillon said.
Speaking as a Senator, the Montserrado County lawmaker said authoritatively, no recast budget has been submitted since April 17, 2020. He added “If a recast budget is submitted, each senator will receive copy and plenary will discuss it. Besides, I haven’t recieved a call, text message or message in our chatroom.”