Concerns over effect of cutback

National

Northern Governor Gary Juffa, pictured, says cutting provincial and district funds may have a profound effect on service delivery.
Responding to the Government’s first 100-day plan, under which provincial and district programme funds are to be slashed to K5 million per province and K10 million per district according to Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel, Juffa said:  “Recently, the Government made an announcement that they would do away with DSIP and PSIP which, on one hand, has some merit.
“But on the other hand, at a time when the country is facing an economic crisis, these are the only funds available in many instances in electorates and provinces to be able to meet some of the demands of the people insofar as health is concerned and emergencies like disasters, floods, strong winds and high seas.
“The recurrent funds and functional grants aren’t making it to the provinces.
“For instance, Northern has not received any of its recurrent funds allocated for this year, and it’s now three-quarters of the year gone by.
“Whenever there are some issues in regards to health, aid posts needing medicine, or some emergency, it is the DSIP and PSIP funds that are utilised by these provinces, especially provinces like Northern, which doesn’t have a significant internal revenue base and is largely reliant on national government assistance.
“If we were to do away with PSIP and DSIP, that’s just going to further punish the people, who are already feeling the pinch of the hard economic times. I’m urging the Treasurer to rethink his strategy in terms of the PSIP and DSIP as all MPs will agree that these are the only funds they have available to help them meet some of the shortfalls in their electorates and provinces.”
The cutback is expected to save the Government K886 million.
The K10,000 ward services improvement programme will be maintained.

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