By HELEN TARAWA
THE Government is making every effort to preserve all the constitutional grants including the district and provincial services improvement programme funds, says Finance and Rural Development Minister Charles Abel, pictured.
“Constitutional grants and budget grants are important for districts and provinces which have been used by members of Parliament – sometimes good and sometimes bad but generally good – to facilitate development in areas that Papua New Guineans have never seen before,” Abel said.
He was responding to Markham MP Koni Iguan who questioned the delay in the release of the district support grants (DSG).
Abel said the supplementary budgeting would address all the issues.
“The Markham MP is referring specifically to DSG and the constitutional grants guaranteed by the constitution and most definitely provided for in the 2019. But in relation to funding situation which will be the subject of the supplementary budget, we will be addressing all these issues comprehensively,’ he said.
Abel said the district support constitutional grants would be preserved.
“You will consider some of the changes to the DSIP and PSIP as the discussions go forward,” he said.
“The treasurer will bring that tomorrow to Parliament after going through the usual process.
“With the district support grants, every effort had been made to fund the previous years. And of course 2019 remains outstanding.
“That is the truth along with other elements of the budget,” Abel said.
“It’s all subjected to cash flow. I’m certain that the DSG funds are contained in the supplementary budget as well but that comes down to availing those funding in a timely manner.”
By HELEN TARAWA