THE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Treasury Manasseh Sogavare has announced a $3.93 billion budget under the theme ‘Resourcing the basic fundamentals’, Tuesday.
The announcement was made when he moved the 2019 Appropriation Bill 2018 to be put to the second reading in the parliament on Tuesday.
Delivering the Government’s fiscal plan for 2019 Mr Sogavare said the 2019 Budget will strictly focus on all Ministries’ core business, ensuring that they continue to adequately ‘resource the basic fundamentals’ of government within the resource envelope that is available to them.
“The $3.93 billion will be spent to provide the services to the people of Solomon Islands,” Mr Sogavare said.
He further added that for the first time in Solomon Islands history the payroll budget will account for 34% of total SIG expenditure or $1.24 billion.
Mr Sogavare added that the other charges budget will account for 52% of total SIG expenditure or $1.91 billion.
“The Development Budget has been reduced further to 13% of SIG expenditure or $475 million in an effort to clean out all SIG implementation or limited funding.
“As a result these projects have not been delivered or completed even with ongoing funding, instead this government has committed to investments in 2019 that are ready to be mobilised and implemented,” Mr Sogavare said.
The MP for East Choiseul said the 2019 budget provides and important opportunity to engage in more constructive dialogue and debate towards improving and enriching the lives of the people of the Solomon Islands.
“This country and the resources it endows with is not for this generation and this government alone.
“It belongs to the generations that had passed on and will be inherited by the generation to come,” Mr Sogavare said.
He added that the government priorities will be monitored and continually reported to government through the Central Ministries Coordinating Committee and the Policy Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit under the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The government is committed itself to right sizing the public service with this 2019 budget.
“We are committed to continue improving performance across Government by ensuring that our institutions are structured in the right way to deliver their mandates.
“This government is also committed to excellence and to the continued refinement of service delivery mechanisms.
“In that sense we will use the 2019 budget as a benchmark for improving efficiencies across all of our public service machinery in order to restore sustainability and fiscal stability in the economy and advance our priorities,” Mr Sogavare affirmed.
He further affirmed that this government encourage better resource management, quality spending and ensuring a prudent and stable budget for 2019.
Mr Sogavare urged both side of the House to continue to work together to support Government’s machinery and ensure that they collectively continue to improve on the usage of our scarce resources and target them effectively to diversify our sources of growth.
By ANDREW FANASIA