Wereh says 2017 budget cuts inevitable

National

Works and Implementation Secretary David Wereh says cuts are inevitable in the 2017 budget to be handed down next month but the importance of his department cannot be understated.
Wereh said he had already submitted his department’s budget to the Government and they would talk about it when the actual budget came out.
“We have objectively developed our maintenance strategy, maintenance programmes and the costs that come with these to see some continuity in what we are doing,” he told The National.
“With that justification, the pricing and our budget needs have been made known to Central agencies (coordinating committee), so we’ll see what their response is like.
“I know it’s tight and the revenue outlook for our country is very low, but I cannot close the roads.
“Roads must be open.”
Wereh said earlier this year that his department would need K1.7 billion annually over the next five years to carry out its programmes.
He said this at the launch of Works’ Corporate Strategic Plan 2015–2019 and Roads and Bridge Works Specifications.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said recently that major infrastructure project culled from the 2016 budget would be continued in 2017 as the country goes through a tough time.
He said this during debate on the 2016 Supplementary Budget.
Works and Implementation has seen a massive increase in government funding for road maintenance and development since 2013.
The department received around K994 million in 2013, K1.6 billion in 2014, K1.5 billion in 2015 and about the same amount this year which has been greatly reduced because of financial issues affecting the country.

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