By EDDIE OSIFELO
MALAITA Province has received $146 million of the total $639 million fixed grant from the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening since 2009.
This is 23 percent of the total allocation provided by MPGIS to all the provinces.
Minister Rollen Seleso told Parliament during the Sine Die motion last week that this was the biggest allocation due to the population factor.
“But Malaita also shares the geographical challenge faced by all provinces as well which has severely impact service delivery mechanism including transport and communication.
“Service grants are used for utilities, bills and normal operations plus salary and wages for all direct staff,” he said.
In addition to the grants, Seleso said provinces have also received revenue through their own source revenue including basic rates, property rates and passengers’ levies and other fees and licenses.
“To make unfold claims that province do not receive grants and expense for their own operations would be unfair and bias since this grant allocation has been the main functions of the Ministry since the establishment of the Provincial Government Act.
“On top of these grant allocations and operation expense allocations, the Ministry also work with Provincial Governments on how best revenue can be utilized and share,” he said.
Seleso said this is the main demand of the provincial government in ensuring the proceeding that came out of the National Revenue be allocated to provinces to determine their own operations.
“In addition to the mandate and allocated functions, this is what the Ministry has been working very hard on, particularly on the area of absorption, capacity where provinces must be able to receive capacity, expertise and capabilities require to tackle this bigger responsibility,” he added.