Seleso yet to decide on MARA’s fate


MINISTER of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Rollen Seleso is still to make any decision on the defeated $27 million revised budget in Malaita Province, on Tuesday.

This was after the Speaker of Malaita Province, Ronnie Butala did not submit the report on the deliberation of the revised budget meeting in Auki, to Minister Seleso.

Seleso said upon receiving the report from the Speaker, he will seek proper legal clarification on what to do next.

Majority of the members of Provincial Assembly voted ‘No’ during the voice vote, after the debate of the revised budget.

The Minister of Finance tabled the revised budget on Monday and the debate continued on the next day.

Butala said four MPAs debated the Minister of Finance’s speech on revised budget, when tabled in the Assembly.

He said the two common issues raised during the debate were over the Provincial Capacity Development Fund that was never paid to the province and the money in the Operational Heads, that have been vired already.

He said after the debate, it was put to voice vote in order to allow it to go through Committee of Supply and third reading.

“However, during the voice vote, the majority of the MPAs in the Chamber said ‘No’, so the ‘Nos’ have it.

“As such, under the Standing Order 47 in the Provincial Government Act 1997, I have no power to do anything about it,” he said.

Butala said he had sought advice from the Attorney General Office in Honiara.

He said a lawyer in the AG advised him that the Minister of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening has the power to make any decision on the issue.

However, Butala urged the public not to mix the budget meeting with politics.

He said the defeat of the revised budget has nothing to do with politics.

Butala has adjourned the budget session indefinitely until Minister Seleso provides the advice on what to do next.

Apart from that, the actual budget session is scheduled to take place on March.

The four years term of the Malaita Provincial Assembly (MPA) members die a natural death in June.

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