Home Economy In Economy: Senate Detects “Sluggishness”

In Economy: Senate Detects “Sluggishness”

by newsmanager

MONROVIA: The President Pro-tempore of the Liberian Senate, Albert Tugbe Chie, has disclosed that “since the 2023 National Budget was enacted into law, the Senate has noted signs of a bit of sluggishness in the economy.”

According to the Senate President Pro-tempore, the bit of sluggishness in the economy “is leading to challenges that include depreciation in the exchange rate, little struggle completing payment of salaries on time, as well as agencies and institutions complaining of delays in getting funds for their various activities and programs.”

“In view of the challenges, we discussed these economic matters with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the recent mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” Chie told a news conference yesterday on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.

According to Pro-tempore Chie, it has been noted that the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), has not been meeting its quarterly targets.

Chie: “The IMF has also indicated that revenue from Customs is not performing despite the increase in the volumes of imports.”

Nevertheless, the Gand Kru County Senator asserted that “Slowness in the economy is not strange in an election year in development countries due to many factors associated with elections, including the laissez faire attitude of taxpayers.”

He disclosed that the Executive and Legislature are working together to remedy the economic challenges and “hopefully by the end of July, significant progress will be made.”

He name some measures that may have to be taken quickly including the cancelation of some of the incentive agreements which have been entered into between the government and some private entities, most especially the ones without legislative ratification; and the cancellation of certain duty-free privileges, especially on fuel.

“There is a forecast of a finance gap in the 2023 National Budget in the tone of approximately 44 million US Dollars and there are plans to prepare and enact a Recast Budget in order to cut spending,” Pro-tempore Chie narrated.
Commenting on the 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections, he stressed that the Liberian Senate has been committed to the promotion of free, fair and transparent elections in October and non-violence leading to these elections.

“ Political actors and the general public should note that election violence has many forms; and making statements which could incite partisans against other partisans or non-partisans or which could incite any member of the general public is no exception; hence it is prudent to desist from said acts and adopt a violence free approach that will enhance peace, stability and security for all of us,” he asserted.

Reacting to claims that he, Senator Chie, has purchased several vehicles for the former ruling Unity Party (UP), head of the crucial 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections, he said, on May 16, 2023, if you can recall, I left you with a caveat while delivering my opening statement at this second segment of the sixth session.

In his caveat, Chie stated: “My fellow Liberians: We are in an election year. Be careful to digest well what you hear and read, before you believe. Political lies, character assassinations, rumors, fabrication with the intent to deceive the massive will be the order of the day”.

Senator Chie: “Within a fortnight, precisely last week Thursday, the 25th of May, 2023, I was appalled by news that social media and a few radio stations have been parading with information alleging that I purchased certain number of vehicles for the Unity Party. Some said 8, other 10, 15, and up to 25 pickups. Opportunists have just added 73 bikes to the list and may add more items before the week ends.”

“This information that I donated vehicles to the UP is totally untrue, baseless, unfounded and has now become a smear campaign to distract the attention of our noble institution, the mighty Congress for Democratic Chang (CDC).

“ At no time have I purchased any vehicle for or made donation of any kind, directly or indirectly, or requested any individual or business, directly or indirectly, to make a donation to the Unity Party or any other opposition political party, institution and individual.

“These lies are said to have started as the result of panic by some persons when information was posted on the social media that the Unity Party has acquired 15 pickups and 73 motorbikes. This situation is now being exploited by some opportunists who are constantly placing more inciting information on social media to confuse and laugh at the CDC and nourish confusion among its rank and file. The opposition Unity Party is quite aware that I have made no donation to its institution.”

Chie: “I challenge anyone in this country to provide evidence that I have made a donation of vehicles or any item, directly or indirectly, to any opposition political party. If you have such evidence, please provide it to the press for publication. I do not sneak and I have no need whatsoever to sneak. Let me state here that I remain committed fully to the CDC and use this opportunity to thank many CDCians and others supporters of the CDC who have expressed, both privately and publicly, that they don’t believe the false allegation against me and have named some of those behind this false accusation and black lie.”

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