MEMBERS of Temotu Provincial Assembly on Thursday 25th March 2021 passed its budget during the 74th Assembly meeting in Lata.
The provincial budget was severely restricted and many good intensions of the Temotu Unity Government for Rural Advancement (TUGRA) to build its revenue base have been affected due to the cut of government support to the provinces because of the global effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Edward Daiwo, the Provincial Minister of Finance & Treasury further explained when presenting the bill, about half of the money available to the province is taken up by fix expenditures mandated by the MPGIS, leaving only less than half to fund other provincial priorities.
He said the 3 fix expenditures are minimum conditions mandated by the Ministry includes consultancy support taking up more than a million dollars, Local contribution towards PCDF, manpower budget and Ward Development Grants which was recently increased.
This means funding of the province Annual Work Plan 2021/2022 (AWP) is being affected.
The government priority to vigorously pursue the implementation of the revenue mobilization strategy is also being affected.
This includes all priority policy of the government to build and widen the provincial revenue base is delayed.
Because of this, the call by members of the Assembly is to work together and minimize expenditures during these Pandemic times.
He has also explained that working together and being united build strong and stable government. And having strong and stable government ensures confidence in provincial developments.
He said the willingness by the MYWCFA to prioritize the development of the $3M Youth & Children Recourse Centre in Lata this year 2021 is a direct result of the government confidence in the province.
Not only this he said, but the agreement indicated by the MEHRD to support the province with more than $10M dollars to fund the Lata Community High School starting this year 2021 is also based on this confidence.
Even inside this pandemic, when the government and donor support in the country is providing support to the province he said, shows that we have a stable government.
This means, the implementation of this budget he said will be achievable for the benefit of the people in the province.
The increase of grant support to the rural wards in the province provides the needed support for us to build capacity in all of the province and not only here in Lata.
“I am looking forward to one day when wards in the province will develop cash earning opportunities to rural people through the supports the government is giving them and each of you in the Assembly are directly responsible to help the rural communities in this area,” Daiwo said.
Temotu provincial Assembly is now meeting inside its newly built Assembly Chamber.
No longer is the Assembly going to be done in other places as their new Assembly hall is completed, although a few final touches are yet to be done.