MILNE Bay Governor Titus Philemon presented the province’s 2017 budget to Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch for approval last Wednesday in Port Moresby.
Philemon was accompanied by Provincial Administrator Michael Kape and the budget team.
He acknowledged the minister for receiving the budget and said that the K200 million budget was aligned to Milne Bay’s Integrated Development Plan (2016-2020) and was rural-focused.
Philemon thanked O’Neill Government for providing the services improvement policy funding which contributed to the realisation of the provincial government’s development policies and aspirations.
The budget passed by the provincial assembly last Dec represents a slight increase from the 2016 appropriation of K193.4 million.
Presenting the budget to the assembly, Philemon said the theme for 2017 budget was “supporting economic growth in Milne Bay through responsible fiscal consolidation.”
The budget comprises of;
- National Government grants (K152, 499,400),
- unspent 2016 grants (K27,259, 900),
- internal revenue (K20,284,200), and,
- Non-discretionary funds (K250,000)
The provincial government will spend K98.5 million on recurrent expenditure; K98.5 on public investment programmes and K27.3 on previously budgeted projects.
“Compared to previous governments over the last 15 years, this government has built more jetties, roads, communication and other building infrastructures in only its first five years in office and funded more service delivery programmes through rural-focused and people-oriented policy initiatives like the church-government partnership programme, small to medium enterprise and commodity subsidy program,” Philemon said.
He said the provincial government would continue to address people’s needs through implementation of projects and programmes under the PSIP.
Philemon commended the National Government for support grants through education, health and tourism sectors.
He also thanked development partners such as foreign donors, investors and the private sector for their continuous support to the government.