Amin Modad, Chief Executive Officer of Bella Casa Hotel, located in Sinkor, MonroviaThe outbreak of the Ebola virus in Liberia has dealt a huge blow to the country’s economy, a Liberian businessman operating in Liberia has observed, calling on the government to re-align its fiscal budget to rescue local businesses drowning from the impact of the virus.Amin Modad, a hotel entrepreneur and proprietor of Bella Cassa, a local hotel in Sinkor, told our Business Desk on Tuesday, August 26 that businesses are seeking a tax holiday and other incentives from the government to make up for the losses they are enduring as a result of the Ebola epidemic.“We know exactly the constraints the government is going through at this time and we don’t want to put further pressure on them. But the fact remains that we [domestic private sector] are drowning as a result of the Ebola virus,” Modad said. Many Liberian-own hotel businesses have shut down as a result of the lack of clients.The Ebola virus has killed 1,400 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The virus outbreak has slowed government’s revenue generation in the three countries as expatriates and foreign business owners have fled. “We in the hotel business are among those [businesses] worse it by the Ebola outbreak because our clientele level has dwindled immensely,” he said. “The government must give us [businesses] a period with tax holiday and duty free privileges. We are not being insensitive to the government’s problems.”In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer, Modad, a real estate and trade developer and former senior policy advisor to the Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC) disclosed that his hotel currently has less than three clients as a result of the Ebola outbreak.The Liberian businessman, who says he holds a Master degree in business administration (MBA), explained that he has downgraded his staff from 44 permanent staff to only 20. He said the rest of the staff including 14 auxiliary staff, has been urged to stay home.“We had to take such a decision because we are no more receiving clients,” Modad added. According to him, most of the non-essential staff staying home receives part of their monthly salaries for their upkeep because of the prevailing economic condition. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The House of Representatives has said that the proposed National Budget of 2014/2015 submitted by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Wednesday, May 21, will not be opened for scrutiny without the submission of Budget Framework document, which, according to them, provides overview for the pending fiscal year.Plenary took the decision last week when Speaker J. Alex Tyler briefed his colleagues on issues relating to the draft 2014/2015 Budget, noting that the bill was submitted with only a transmitter letter from the President.The submission of the required documents and contents of proposed budget is a requirement under Section 12 (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) and (g) of the Public Financial Management Law of Liberia (PFML). Speaker Tyler informed his colleagues that the proposed budget “must contain a detailed annual estimate set alongside the previous budget year outturns, current year original budget as well as the actual outturns base on available data and projected outturns for the current year.” He maintains that the details and content of the annual budget estimate shall be defined in regulations issued by the Minister of Finance under the PFML.Meanwhile, the House’s Plenary cautioned the Executive to attach urgency to the submission of the required documentation to avoid further delay as the April 30th deadline for budget submission has expired under the PFM. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
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