By EDDIE OSIFELO
MINISTRY of Finance and Treasury is facing a cash flow problem as it cuts down on its priority spending for the short term.
Treasury only has $63 million in Solomon Islands Government bank accounts and over $103 million in payments that have cleared compliance and budget checking and are ready for payment.
This was confirmed in a leaked email by Accountant General Bruce Phillips to all permanent secretaries and financial controllers last Friday (June 18).
Phillips said that “we have an immediate shortfall of $40 million and this amount is growing daily at present time.”
He said many of the $103 million are priority payments.
“Clearly something must be sacrificed in the very short term until our cash reserves are built up again,” he said.
As such in conjunction with PSF, Phillips said Treasury has agreed to priorities weekly SIG salaries, utility payments, Ministry of Rural Development related payments and provincial government grants until 30th June.
He said third quarter parliamentary allowances and housing rental payments are all due in nine business days.
Further to that, Phillips said naturally donor funded payments are not impacted nor are COVID related payments as these are funded separately from SIG.
Consequently, Phillips said he will not be approving further provincial touring imprests or payments that do not meet the above criteria until June 30, 2021 at the earliest.
“You can be assured that PSF, Ministry of Finance and Treasury and ourselves are doing everything possible to address this short-term funding challenge,” he added.