The Minister of Lands, Housing and Survey William Bradford Marau says revenue sharing can be beneficial to provincial governments.
He made the statement in Kira Kira, the provincial capital of Makira Ulawa Province while addressing the Province’s 36th Second Appointed Day celebrations on Friday August 2.
Mr Marau said the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) is taking on board legislative reviews on the revenue sharing benefits to the provincial governments.
He said the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement led by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare agreed earlier this year to take on board the legislative reviews on revenue sharing following a call by the Provincial Premiers conference in Auki, Malaita Province in 2017.
The call was for the national government to formulate a policy paper on a revenue sharing scheme.
Mr Marau said the Government had been working on the scheme during the past two years, especially in putting together the necessary details before a Revenue Sharing Bill can be drafted.
He added the Bill should be ready for presentation to the National Parliament later in the year.
Mr Marau said the Bill covers equal sharing ratios from the national domestic revenues, but on a vertical sharing basis and coupled with the decentralizations of certain functions and responsibilities to provincial governments.
He said the government envisages that once the Bill becomes a law, the provinces will receive revenues four times greater than what they have been getting from the state purse.
But Mr Marau said the snag and challenge now will be on absorption capacity and the ability of the provincial governments especially on how they can tackle deepening demands for basic goods and services.
He said the Government will however play its part in capacity building through training programs for “our provinces”.
By George Atkin
In Kira Kira,
Makira Ulawa Province