THE National Parliament of Solomon Islands on Friday approved another supplementary appropriation bill ‘2016 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2016.’
This bill regularizes various expenditures of the Government in the first quarter of this year.
Minister of Finance and Treasury Hon Snyder Rini, when presenting the bill to the House for debate said this supplementary appropriation bill was required ‘to fund a number of pressures emerging in the first quarter of 2016.’
He said the bill contains a total appropriation of $156-Million and of this amount $7.7-Million is for Contingency Warrants, $18.3-Million for Advance Warrants and $130.9-Million for additional supplementation.
Minister Rini said the Contingency Warrants in this bill regularize spending that was unforeseen and urgent and the expenditures incurred under this section include the following:
- $1.9m for funeral and repatriation costs of the late Sir Peter Kenilorea and to provide for the voluntary contribution to MSG Secretariat;
- $0.8m for the Solomon Islands successful bid to host the 2023 Pacific Games; and
- $5m to support the Government of Fiji and the victims of Tropical Winston.
The Minister for Finance and Treasury said the Advance Warrants are used to create appropriations where donors are providing funding through the Treasury for services rendered in 2015 and these include the following:
- $4.7m to assist in improving Inland Revenue Division funded by the New Zealand Government and for the Demographic Health Survey provided by the Australian Government;
- $2.9m support by the Republic of China to Fakalolomo Sanitation Project, Lau-Baelelea Constituency, Malaita Province; and
- $10.7m for asset maintenance and correctional Services housing construction by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
On the Additional Supplementation, Minister Rini said this section covers unavoidable expenditures that the Government was faced with in recent months.
The expenditures under this section as outlined by the Finance and Treasury Minister are as follows:
- $104.2m to fund an additional 1,562 scholarship places, of which 1,228 places are locally based and 337 are based overseas;
- $1.5m to fund subscription fees for overseas bodies and house rental for staff;
- $1.3m to fund Solomon Islands’ hosting of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Leaders Conference to be held in Honiara in July 2016;
- $5m to fund a Western Province Tourism Project;
- $5.3m to fund sustainability and further development of the Aurion – Payroll/HRMIS system at the Ministry of Public Service as the current support from DFAT will expire on June 30 2016;
- $1.7m to fund office rent for the new Attorney General’s Office at Panatina Plaza;
- $2.5m to fund Solomon Islands’ pre-bid lobbying to host the 2023 Pacific Games; and
- $9.3m to fund ongoing work on the relocation of the NRH feasibility, site confirmation and securing site from illegal squatters.
He said in order to finance some of these expenditure pressures, the Government decided to reduce the 2016 Appropriation Act 2015 by $2.5- Million and this saving will offset costs related to our pre-bid lobbying to host the 2023 Pacific Games.
Minister Rini said this supplementary budget will certainly increase the pressure on the use of Cash Reserves and at the same time continue to put Government Budget under pressure.
He said some of the budget pressures are included in this supplementary appropriation and more of which are expected in the second half of the year.
The Minister for Finance and Treasury said the Government is committed to manage the fiscal situation of the country and bring spending back to sustainable levels.
He said the Government is acutely aware that this responsibility lies with it and to demonstrate this fact, Cabinet has agreed, as a condition for approving this supplementary budget, to work with the Ministry of Finance to review the 2016 budget and this review will take place in July.
Minister Rini said through this process, the Government will identify and implement the measures necessary to eliminate waste and to reprioritize spending to areas critical to the implementation of DCCG priorities.
He said these measures will ensure that the Solomon Islands budget remains in a balanced position.
The other supplementary appropriation bill passed by Parliament this week was the ‘2015 Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2016’ which regularized.
Source: PM Press