WPG passes $18.9m budget

Western Provincial capital Gizo
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WESTERN Provincial Assembly endorsed a $18,893,064 budget for the first quarter of 2022/2023 financial year on Thursday this week.

Minister of Finance, Ramrakha Talasasa said the budget estimate is a six percent increase from the actual recurrent revenue in 2021/2022 financial year but several millions short in comparison to the 2021 revised projections.

He told assembly that the estimated recurrent revenue is expected from the following sectors; Provincial Assembly $1,201,757 (6%), Finance (FSG) $7,765,341 (41%), Works, Transport & Comm $490,510 (3%), Lands $3,058,705 (16%), Commerce & Investment $2,636,936 (14%), Fisheries and Marine Resources $177,540 (1%) and Forestry $3,403,000 (18%).

Talasasa said estimated capital revenue for Western Provincial in 2022/2023 financial year stands at 9,680,876 – an amount expected from PCDF, Gov4Res Climate Change Project funded by UN and RCDF contribution for Ward 13, 15, 16 and 25.

“Breakdown of the Capital Revenue is as follows: PCDF $8,028,948 (This includes a 7.5% contribution from WPG), Gov4Res SBD451, 928 and RCDF (Wards 13, 15, 16, 25) $1,200,000,” he explained.

Talasasa said the capital expenditure projection for this year includes carried forward projects identified by Ward Development Committees while the capital budget will focus on economic infrastructure and productive sector.

“In the outset, dollar to service and development distributions are as follows; The PCDF component is distributed as 42% Economic Infrastructures, 28% Development projects (Education and Health), 20% Administration and 10% General Investment Service.

“Ward Development Grant Allocation will be SBD3, 857,504 worth of projects for each ward – projects were identified by Ward Development Committees in the best interest of communities,” he said.

He said the budget has been dropped significantly due to pressure in local revenue and that new priorities have been established to address the issue.

Talasasa said Mesepitu led-government’s key priority is looking at broadening the province’s revenue base by encouraging local entrepreneurship and creating a conducive environment for small to medium level businesses to flourish.

“I can confidently say that this budget is a reflection of this government’s policy direction and tries to address key sectors that we feel would pave the way for creating opportunities and options for our rural populace, so that they can be able to participate in activities that will support their livelihood and wellbeing in the future.