Temotu province passes budget

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TEMOTU province has passed its appropriation bill 2018/2019 on Wednesday last week.

The budget is however uncertain because the national government is yet to pass its budget.

Mover of the motion, Baddley Tau, ward member for Tikopia and Anuta, said he and his team will work hard in the achievement of what has been appropriated in the budget 2018/2019 in the coming financial year of the province. The financial year of all provincial governments is April to March the following year.

He said the preparation of the budget was challenging because normally the national government passes its budget before provinces prepare their budget.

This year is different because national government has not passed its budget and therefore normal revenue expected from service grant from the national government has not been confirmed.

“Adding to the challenge was the drastic reduction of PCDF support to provinces, which we heavily relay on for capital development in the province.”

“This coming financial year will see a total of 80 percent reduction of PCDF to all the provinces. Completion of capital projects already started in the province will be an issue let alone the new projects already appropriated for funding under the current budget.

“Because of these challenges, overall estimate appropriated for the province in the next financial year has been reduced by 13 percent, from 13 million in 2017/2018 to 12 million in 2018/2019.”

He further explained that funding of the budget for the first time will see local revenue contribute more than 50 percent of expected revenue in the province.

This he said will require hard work and commitment of all employees as well as local entrepreneurs.

MPAs will also be expected to identify revenue areas in each of their wards.

He said some areas the province has not collected in the past will now be pursued.

One of those areas is the passenger levy. All shipping services coming to the province will be expected to comply as provincial revenue collectors will be mobilised.

The province is calling on all private and semi-private organisations operating in the province to support the government and live up to their obligation and pay relevant revenue to the province.

Mr Tau thanked every member of Assembly for supporting the bill. Special thank you was accorded to administration staff for their hard work in making sure the appropriation bill 2018/2019 is made ready for the Assembly.

Assembly members with speaker and clerk after assembly meeting in Lata. Photo by Alan Agassi

–TEMOTU PROVINCE PRESS

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