K230m RESI funds used up: Tiensten

National, Normal

THE K230 million RESI funds have all been used up, National Planning and District Development Minister Paul Tiensten told Parliament yesterday.
His admission brought groans from Members of Parliament who have made submissions but will now not receive any funds to improve schools in their districts.
The Government allocated K230 million in this year’s Budget for rehabilitation of schools infrastructure (RESI).
Mr Tiensten also gave the percentage break-up of the RESI funds allocated around the country, with the Highlands region receiving 62%, Momase 23%, Islands region 8% and Southern region 7%.
He was responding to a question from Markham MP Koni Iguan, on whether RESI funds were still there to be released to MPs.
“If funding is still available can you give it to us?” Mr Iguan said.
Mr Tiensten said the Government had put aside a lot of money for RESI and health at a time when there was surplus.
He stressed that these were one-off programmes, including district markets, for which the Government allocated K20 million last year and K20 million this year and would continue next year.
“The money is not enough to satisfy everyone.
“These programmes are not based on equitable grounds but on first come first serve basis given the submissions went through the screening process,” Mr Tiensten said.
He added that those MPs who made submissions and were not featured in the break-up meant they had missed out.
However, he told the Markham MP that if the Education Minister had made a commitment to him (Mr Iguan), then he must follow up on it as there were savings left that could be released.