By EDDIE OSIFELO
PARLIAMENT passed the $4.531 billion national budget without amendments yesterday.
The budget went through three and half days of scrutiny through the Committee of Supply before the motion was passed.
Recurrent budget gets a big pie in the budget with a total estimate of $3.050 billion.
This consists of payroll budget of $1.363 billion, $1.666 billion for Other Charges, and $20 million in Contingency Warrants.
The total expenditure for development initiatives of $870.9 million including $20 million development support from the Peoples Republic of China (PRC).
The productive and resource sectors remain the priority of the government as they are potential drivers and enablers of growth.
The 2022 development budget allocation comprises of $541.8 million or 62 percent towards both the productive and resource sectors. Social sector is $179.8 million or 21 percent, and $149.3 million or 17 percent to the fundamental sector.
The remaining part of the budget include the Budget support, which is supported by donors.
Minister of Finance and Treasury, Harry Kuma tabled the 2022 Appropriation Bill 2022 last Thursday.
Kuma said the 2022 budget is a very tight budget and the government will need to realistically plan and prioritise its activities in order to achieve tangible outcomes within the 2022 financial year and avoid any commitments that will further derail government’s fiscal situation.
In this regard, the government has taken a drastic decision to reduce the overall SIG expenditure within the SIG revenue estimates in order to maintain fiscal stability and affordability of the government fiscal plan in 2022.
GCU said this is to ensure funding is always readily available to pay all government suppliers on time.
The DCGA in the 2022 Budget has refocused its key policy commitments towards three key priority areas including the COVID 19 response to effectively control and manage COVID19 transmission in Honiara and provinces, Reconstruction of buildings destroyed during the recent civil unrest including support to affected businesses and Implementation of economic response measures to support economic recovery and growth.
The government has committed $180.6 million under respective implementing ministries to support response to COVID-19 community transmission in Honiara and provinces.
This is an ongoing support towards the roll out of COVID -19 vaccination, improve medical infrastructure and quarantine sites to contain threat in communities, improving resourcing and capacity of frontline personnel to respond effectively to curb community transmission.