Gov’t seeks extra $385m

Member of Parliament for East Honiara, Douglas Ete
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GOVERNMENT is asking Parliament to regularise an additional three hundred and eighty-five million, one thousand, six hundred and twenty seven dollars ($385, 001,627).

This follows government having spent the $3.8 billion budget for the 2020 financial year which was passed in Parliament last December.

The Public Account Committee will scrutinise the $385, 001,627 and two hundred and six million, eighty-eight thousand, six hundred and ninety-six dollars ($206,088,696) during its hearing on Wednesday morning.

Government had already spent the $206,088,696 in 2019 and has brought this to PAC for scrutiny before Parliament regularises the spending.

PAC Chairman Douglas Ete said the hearing was supposed to start yesterday but was re-scheduled to allow the Auditor General, who is the secretary, to go through the two Supplementary bills and produce a summary to the committee.

Ete said Central Bank of Solomon Islands and Ministry of Finance and Treasury are the first two stakeholders to appear before the PAC on Wednesday.

He said the reason for the Government to ask for $385 million additional funding is still not known but maybe relating to the covid-19 programmes.

Under the 2020 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020, the total recurrent for contingency warrants are $8,550,000 and advance warrants of $37,384,204.

This money derives from the Consolidated Fund to be applied to the service of the financial year ending 31 December 2020.

As for the $206 million, Ete said it has to be regularised and made legal this year.

He said spending includes the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) funding and other Solomon Islands Government (SIG) spending.

The hearing is likely to complete on Friday depending on the availability of all invited stakeholders.

Parliament resumes its sitting on Wednesday 12th August.