The Minister of Finance and Development, Dr Kelfalah Marah has unveiled the National Budget for the 2014 fiscal year on Friday 29th November, 2013 in the well of parliament at Tower Hill in Freetown. This was his second budget since taking over the reins of the Ministry last year at the second term of His Excellency the President Ernest Bai Koroma.
He went on to deliver the 2014 National Budget with the theme: “Improving the wellbeing of Sierra Leone” to the nation via the chamber of parliament. There was thunderous applause and standing ovation by Members of Parliament as the Minister stood on the podium of the chamber of parliament to deliver his budget speech to the nation. The minister’s budget which was described as the people’s budget has increased the earnings of parliamentarians, teachers, police, civil servants and soldiers.
The salaries of MPs have been increased by 85% per month. Their premium monthly salaries will stand at Le 7,400,000 per month. The minimum wage in the public sector has been rounded up to Le 480,000. While teachers, police, and army personel will carry home Le 600,000 per month. This increment he said will take effect on the 1st of January, 2014.
Dr. Marah informed the public that Sierra Leone which used to be at the second bottom in the United Nations Human Index rating has now moved to ten steps up the ladder of economic growth. He also said the proposed budget is not only pro-poor but what he referred to as ‘’the people-centered budget’’. He said the economy is expected to grow by 6% in 2014 adding that inflation will be reduced to a single digit. The budget is expected to be tabled before parliament soon.
Prior to the reading of the budget a three days training workshop was organized by the Ministry of finance and Development on the theme; ‘’Enhancing The Role of The Parliamentary Gallery in Budget and finance Reporting” which ended on Thursday 2013. The training attracted journalists from the print and electronic, especially members of the parliamentary press gallery.
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