The newly appointed Minister of Finance, Mr. John O. Benjamin, said on Friday last week that Government is now embarking on the full implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP).
Mr. Benjamin made this statement while delivering a keynote address at a one day policy hearing session, organized by his Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Ministry of Development and Economic Planning at the Miatta Conference Hall in Freetown.
The session targeted government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAS), on issues related to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2006-2008 budget process. Mr. Benjamin said MDAS must bear in mind that the policy hearing represents an opportunity for vote controllers to indicate their areas of priorities for consideration in the annual budget.
He said the main challenge of government during the period ahead is to consolidate post conflict successes and re-orientate the macro economic policies in order to accelerate growth and reduce poverty. He noted that the MTEF budgets of MDAS would be prepared based on sectional policies that reflect submissions for the PRSP. The session was aimed at creating a forum for all ministeries, departments and agencies (MDAS) to articulate their respective policies within their strategic plans for the MTEF budget period. It was also aimed at guiding the allocation process in setting expenditure ceilings.
The Finance Minister went on to state that government will continue to place emphasis on three aspects of public expenditure management namely, participation, accountability and transparency. Other Speakers at the occasion were the Financial Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Dr. Samura Kamara and the Development Secretary at the Ministry of Development and Economic Planning, Mrs. Kona Koroma. The occasion was chaired by Reginald Finn.
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