Govt keeps close watch on budget implementation

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Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare
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By Gary Hatigeva

FINANCE Minister and Member of Parliament for East Choiseul, Manasseh Sogavare has assured the country that the National Government will deliver on its development programmes and implement all its priority policies.

The Minister made this assurance when questioned over worries that cuts on both recurrent and development allocations for around 90 percent of ministries, might affect their implementation programmes.

Sogavare however explained that the government is fully aware of the concerns raised, but reassured that they have already put in place measures to ensure all implementations and development programmes are fulfilled.

He further explained that with these measures, the Ministry of Finance and Treasury will play a vital part, in which all ministerial programmes will be tightly monitored and implemented in close consultations with his ministry.

But with the allocations, according to most ministers interviewed, are enough for their ministries to implement all priority areas under their banner, given the short time that is left for the government to deliver on its budget.

While agreeing to concerns over the cuts, most have suggested that things can only be realistic with their allocations regarding all activities, if proper scale down are done in the areas of focus for implementations.

Most interviewed have also shared similar sentiments, stressing that with the little allocations in hand, all those responsible would have to ensure funds are spent on where they are actually allocated to.

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Meanwhile, Sogavare revealed that the government in the course of this year, will come back with a supplementary budget.

“And the revenue prospect of bringing a supplement would be very good and so they’ll work closely with us,” the Finance Minister added.

The cuts and intentions to bring a supplementary budget was somehow welcomed by some, who felt the move to cut allocations was smart from the government to have taken the approach.

It was pointed out that having these cuts will surely put strong control over how funds are used up with close monitoring mechanisms, and any additional funding should depend very much on individual ministry’s implementation reports and evaluations.

Most ministers have however assured that they are ready to work and deliver on the budget, while at the same time, anticipate the collaboration approach revealed for all implementation programmes with the ministry of finance and treasury.

Also commenting on the supplementary, Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela further confirmed that a supplementary is coming and added that the minister of finance will take it (supplementary) up.

“Taking into account the revenue measures that are not in the budget, we will have to appropriate them through a supplementary, and as soon as he (finance minister) ascertain all the amounts then he will bring them,” the Prime Minister added.

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