Finance director reports Bedford’s finances in good shape

Finance Ministry probes illegal spending by MDAs

The town issues debt on a 10-year basis, allowing rapid pay down. Were debt free in 10 years. Our debt service payments will be significantly higher than a municipality that spreads it out over 20 or 30 years, she said. Dionne addressed Moodys Investors Service reaffirming the towns Aaa rating bond because of its low debt burden, healthy reserve levels, conservative budgeting and diverse tax base. The town was able to secure bond financing at a low interest rate of 1.43 percent, and an anticipated premium of about $200,000 helped reduce the bond.

Peshawar’s top colleges: Self-finance admissions galore

However, the seats offered on self-finance basis total 180, which is the double of those of open merit. The students of self-finance annually pay Rs40, 000 fee. Similarly, there are 375 seats for open merit in Part-I of pre-medical and pre-engineering group of Islamia College for Boys and Islamia College for Girls, while on self-finance basis, the number of seats offered for these courses total 715, according to the prospectus of the college. The normal fee in ICP is around Rs22,000, while the fee for self-finance admission is Rs55,000.

Further Progress on Housing Finance

(I testified about the need for its reform at a hearing in February of the Senate Banking committee). The Hensarling bill includes changes that would address this situation. Mortgage interest rates will rise with any overhaul that brings in private capital, but this reflects that the system is now undercapitalized with taxpayers at risk. Before the financial crisis, private-label mortgages bundled into securities without a then-implicit guarantee provided by Fannie and Freddie had interest rates from 0.5 to 1 percentage point higher than loans backed by the two government-sponsored enterprises. It is hard to know quite how much rates would rise without a government backstop, but the housing market is in an upswing and affordability remains high, so it seems likely that the housing sector would continue to recover even with higher rates from both changes in housing finance and the Federal Reserves eventual normalization of monetary policy.

The law requires that the money should be paid to the accounts of the revenue collection agencies for onward remittance to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF. The key collection agencies are the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, and the Nigeria Customs Service apart from scores of others that have come under the scrutiny of the finance ministry. A source familiar with the situation confirmed that the finding that some MDAs were using some of the deductions, including Withholding Tax deductions, to run their entities has angered the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who has directed an investigation into such deductions in the MDAs with a view to determining the total amount due for remittance by the revenue collection agencies to the fund.


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