K167.9m for autonomous region goes through house

National, Normal

The National – Thursday, December 23, 2010

THE Bougainville house of assembly has passed a record 2011 ABG budget of K167.9 million, which is the sixth full budget for Bougainville since it was established in 2005.
Bougainville minister for Finance, treasury and planning Albert Punghau said the budget which was presented to the Minister for Finance and Treasury Peter O’Neill last week, depicts the Bougainville government’s policy shift and emphasis on districts.
The total revenue and grants were projected at K167,911,000 which was K12.7 million higher than the 2010 ABG budget of K155.2 million.
The budget highlights were:
.   Promoting improved law and order;
.   Fostering reconciliation and weapons disposal, including budget support for the peace ministry;
.   Dissecting and operationalising the Bougainville peace agreement;
.   Preparation for referendum for Independence as guaranteed by the Bougainville peace agreement;
.   Strengthening of council of chief-elders and village assemblies;
.   Generating and sustaining economic development;
.   Ensuring socio-economic development through service delivery, particularly in health
and education;
.    Further improving infrastructure and communications;
.   Draw down and implementation of powers and improved productivity of the ABG;
.   Enhancing revenue generation and collection; and
.   Reviewing and implementation of improved governance.
Punghau said the priority areas that were being promoted by the ABG through the annual money plan include :
*    Health;
*   Education;
*   District infrastructure;
*   Feeder roads;
*    Economic recovery;
*   Reconciliation and weapons disposal;
*    LLG-community development; and
*    Institutional capacity building.
The major revenue sources for the K167.9 million appropriated budget comprise:
.    Recurrent unconditional and conditional grants K66,219,000;
.  Restoration and development grants K54, 441,000;
.    Internal revenue K9,954,000; and
.    Other revenue sources K37,297,000.
Punghau requested, when presenting the 2011 ABG budget to O’Neill, that funding disbursements by the state to Bougainville be done on a quarterly basis and in a timely manner.