The Hon Vice President of Sierra Leone Dr. Mohamed JuldehJalloh has launched the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Budget preparation process at the Policy Hearings held at the Treasury Building Main Conference Hall, Ministry of Finance, Freetown.
The Policy Hearings provide an opportunity for Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) including Local Councils to discuss and review the updates on sectoral policies as contained in the Medium-Term National Development Plan.
Speaking at the launch of the budget preparation process, VP JuldehJalloh said the budget hearing is vital to the mechanics of the delivery chain under President Bio’s New Direction government.
He pointed out that the objective of the budget hearing process is to guide discussions around resource allocation particularly in the context of challenging revenue mobilization.
The VP noted that the focus of the budget preparation is to facilitate dialogue around key government priority programs and budgetary implications.
The VP used the occasion to encourage respective MDA’s to look outward for opportunities to finance key social programs that development partners are willing to support. He called on the ministry of finance to pay specific attention to areas that will suffer significant donor budgetary cuts such as the health and explore possibilities for government counterparts funding.
In his statement, Minister of Finance, Denis K. Vandi said the process of policy hearing is for stakeholders to dialogue on policies that will foster economic growth and improve on the standard of living of the average Sierra Leoneans. He stated that the budget was the only tool by which resources can be distributed equitably at all levels such as education, health, energy, water etc. The hearings is expected to continue for a couple of days.
The budget hearings is coming at a very crucial time as the new direction government will need to showcase not only the gains made in the last three years but outline a clear road to a post-COVID-19 recovery process.