Finance Minister Presents 2021 Budget to Parliament

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By Department of Public Relations, Parliament of Sierra Leone

The Minister of Finance Jacob Jusu Saffa on Friday 13th November 2020 presented a Statement of Economic and Financial Policies in the Chamber of Parliament for the Financial Year 2021 themed “economic recovery for job creation and human capital development”.

The Statement of Economic and Financial Policies is inclusive of a Bill entitled “The Appropriation Act, 2021” and it is seeking to become an Act to authorize expenditure from the consolidated fund for the services of Sierra Leone for the year 2021 and to provide for other related matters.

Presenting the Bill to Parliament, the Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa highlighted relevant portions of the Bill hinging on the socio-economic development of the State; citing the interventions of government amid COVID-19 by making the economy resilient to external shocks and support to importers and small scale enterprises including market women and the implementation of the national safety net programme that provided support for persons with disabilities.

The Minister heaped praises on Parliament for the approval of a “Supplementary Budget” this year aimed at supporting government’s initiatives to address emerging economic issues and recovery in the country amid COVID-19. He also thanked international partners for the vital roles they are playing in the process of economic recovery in the country; whilst speaking on projections that will enhance economic growth and stability in fiscal year 2021.

Jacob Jusu Saffa said President Bio’s leadership quality has restored donor confidence from international partners in working with the government on its governance agenda; adding that government has passed with excellence on the Millennium Challenge Cooperation Scorecards. He also said that government would benefit big from the MCC Compact Fund. Speaking, he stated that government would make radical changes when necessary on the fiscal management of the country in order to address rapid developmental growth.

Come 2021, the Minister said that the economic growth of the country would increase rapidly due to the resumption of the mining sector and other related activities. He said government is planning to stop all duty waivers from international companies and that government would seek for other alternatives to address it. He also informed the House that government would soon embark on the construction of roads and bridges that are linking towns and districts in the country and that government would procure vehicles for all Local Councils for the improvement of service delivery.

As part of government’s commitment to improve the living conditions of our security personnel, the Minister promised salary increments for the military, police, ONS, CISU and fire force effective April 2021. He also informed the House that staff of Tertiary Education Institutions would also receive salary increments effective April 2021 and added that 1,000 teachers and 1,000 health workers would be recruited in order to support human capital development.

In another development, the Minister of Finance has also presented to Parliament the “Finance Act, 2021” which is seeking to provide for the imposition and alteration of taxes to give effect to the financial proposals of the government and to provide for other related matters for the financial year 2021.