By REBECCA KUKU
PRIME Minister James Marape has called for “sacrifice” as Government plans to cut funding to major programmes so it can fund its Supplementary Budget to be tabled in Parliament next month.
He told The National that budgetary allocations to major public-funded programmes such as the Provincial Service Improvement Programme (PSIP) and District Service Improvement Programme (DSIP) would bear the brunt of the cost cut.
“PSIP and DSIP funding will be slashed. All (MPs should be) willing to make that sacrifice to fund the supplementary budget,” he said.
He explained that the Government is in a situation where government revenue has shrunk while expenditure has increased so the Government will be making adjustments to fund a supplementary budget.
“Treasury will be making a review and for the first time the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will be part of that review to establish what our revenue is and what our expenditure is as we want to be transparent with our numbers,” Marape said.
“But in any situation where the revenue is smaller than the expenditure, there will be cuts made. So after the review is made, any wastage in public service will be cut.”
The supplementary budget is expected to be tabled in Parliament on Oct 8.
Marape reminded everyone that “we must help ourselves” by tightening up on expenditure.
“No one (else) would help us,” he said.
“We’re giving our new Treasurer (Ian Ling-Stuckey) one more month to look through the numbers and reconcile. So it’s about taking control of our revenue, correcting and tidying the balance for this year.”
The supplementary budget is to readjust the Government’s financial plan as outlined in the 2019 national budget approved by Parliament last November.
Marape had said earlier that the current economic situation warranted a readjustment to the financial roadmap for the year before the 2020 national budget is tabled in November.
Former prime minister and finance minister Sir Mekere Morauta recently joined Marape’s team from the Opposition to assist in addressing the dire economic situation.
By REBECCA KUKU