About time

Gov’t focuses on decentralisation


By Gary Hatigeva

THE National Government believes that decentralisation is the answer to a balanced facilitation of services to the provinces.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS), Stanley Pirione revealed this when presenting his Ministry’s case before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday.

The Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) is currently finalising a new approach in the sharing of revenue benefits.

Pirione explained that the revenue sharing scheme arrangement is also a part of the government’s policy intent.

He said the Ministry has completed its initial scoping and compilation.

“This was already submitted to cabinet, thanks to the help of a few contracted consultants”, Pirione said.

Pirione told PAC that his Ministry is now preparing drafting instructions to be given to the Attorney Generals Chamber.

He said it is the government’s intention to see the scheme presented in the form of a Bill.

This comes as the country also undergoes a review in its Provincial Government Act.

“Provinces thought that a review of the Provincial Government Act without the involvement of the revenue sharing scheme is like you are not giving a soul to the Provincial Government system. And so we thought that the whole issues of giving capacity for Provincial Governments, revenue sharing scheme arrangement will be able to help facilitate services to the provinces. This has always been a policy of the government, and is also a key part in the Federal Constitution,” Pirione said.

According to Pirione, the proposal is to see an increase of percentage shares for provinces.

“Between 10 to 15 percent of revenue”, he said.

Currently, provinces only get two to three percent of the domestic revenue from the national government.

He further explained that the Revenue Sharing Scheme Arrangement will also be established with key criteria as measures for the new approach.

This includes the population stats of provinces, provincial geography, and their cost indexes.

He adds other criteria are based on respective provincial poverty line.

“Most importantly, for the responsible body to determine ones’ revenue shares”.

He said performances of provinces are crucial. He said if provinces do not perform, their chances of getting shares from the scheme arrangement will be in doubt.

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