The Government’s low revenue intake for 2014 first quarter has raised serious concerns that seek explanation from the ministry of finance and treasury.
It was revealed the government revenue for the first quarter has not even hit half the budgeted figure which raised serious concerns.
The Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MMF) technical head Martin Housanau calls on the minister of finance and his permanent secretary to explain to citizens of this country why actual revenue collected does not even reach half of the budgeted figure.
“It has been reported the budgetary figures were inflated and if so the ministry of finance and treasury must explain. This must be investigated because this is causing a huge concern for citizens of this country.
“These inflated figures will directly or indirectly affects quality service provisions like health and education and basic infrastructures.
“It is surprising that the ministry would allow the budgetary figures to inflate,” Mr Housanau said.
He further questioned whether the government’s budget was only made to look good on paper and not to actually reflected on actual revenue collected.
He said lack of operations at the Gold Ridge mine and the recent disaster has put more pressure on the government.
MMF technical team calls on the government through its responsible ministry to tell the nation what strategies it put in place to stabilise the declining revenue situation of the government.
Housanau claimed the impact of this has now been felt in the rural areas where rural clinics have run out of medicines depriving citizens of basic health services.
“Will the government borrow money from NPF or get a loan from the World Bank or Asian Development Bank? And then take the money and corrupt it with the government system like with the RCDF or CDF funds like we know should be paid but was not due to lack of funds available at this stage,” Housanau questioned.
Attempts to speak to the minster and his permanent secretary were unsuccessful.
However a reliable source within the ministry spoken to confirmed that the government’s revenue has been hit hard due to lack of operations at the Gold Ridge mine and the recent flooding.
The source said the Gold Ridge closure has left a big gap within the government’s revenue thus forcing the government to look at other cost cutting measures within its ministerial budgets.
The source said they have proposed cost cutting measures which the Cabinet is yet to make any decision on.
But the source said for now, the governments current situation will not really affect government services despite a shortfall of up to $150m from the mine’s closure.
The source said the shortfall of the government at this stage can be covered by the government’s contingency warrant which can still cover the shortfall if it comes to worst.
Adding a budgetary review is currently ongoing nearing its completion and should be made public to the public anytime soon after it is taken up to parliament.
However the source said the government will also be looking into taking measure to cut back on unnecessary spending if it comes to worse.
“But the government can still manage at this stage,” the source added.
It was reported earlier this week that government finances are said to have hit rock bottom due to low revenue intake with mounting unpaid government bills.
The report said only a third of the budgeted revenue this year was collected for the first quarter which does not speaks well of the government budget of $3.5 billion passed in parliament early this year.
BY DANIEL NAMOSUAIA