By PISAI GUMAR
MOROBE Governor Ginson Saonu on Tuesday handed down the K402 million Morobe budget for 2018, which focuses on partnering with the nine districts and 33 local level governments (LLG).
The theme of the budget is “Initial Stepping Stone to Restoring Morobe”.
The K402.28 million budget was endorsed by the Morobe Tutumang (provincial assembly) made up of 33 council presidents, 10 MPs and community members, women, churches and business representatives.
The total revenue comprises of the National Grants of K276.78 million and the previous year’s appropriation of K11.51 million.
The National Grants (K276.78 million) consist of personnel emoluments (K162.91mil), free primary health care grants (K541, 300), LLG grants (K6.65mil) and development grants (K106. 67mil).
Saonu said warrants for previous year’s appropriation of K11. 51 million have been received.
This appropriation includes district services improvement programme (K8.1 mil), provincial services improvement programme (K900, 000) leave fares (K1.9 mil) and others (K618,200).
Personnel emoluments consist of teachers’ salaries and leave fares (K131.14 mil) and public servants leave fares (K31.76mil).
Internal revenue (K113.98mil), estimates are comprised of goods and services tax (K95.31mil), bookmakers (K1.6mil), liquor licensing (K2.5mil), traffic registry and fines (K7.9mil), Hidden Valley mining royalties (K2.5mil) and others (K4.16mil).
GST contributes 84 per cent to the internal revenue of Morobe.
Internal revenue will be spent on corporate governance (K47.35 mil), services delivery (K47.32mil) and new development aspirations (K19.31mil).
Saonu said the internal revenue budget structure was redefined and realigned to targeting the core purpose of the legitimate government.
He said corporate governance catered for parliamentary services, offices of the governor and the provincial administrator, human resources, policy planning, research and information, and provincial finance administration.
All other functions including LLGs and districts were locked under the services delivery programme.
Corporate governance and service delivery received 42 per cent each, while 16 per cent is diverted to new developmental activities.
Saonu said the major challenge was that the annual economic growth rate was 2 per cent, compared to 2.8 per cent population growth.
This, he said, caused an imbalance of 0.8 per cent and added pressure to service delivery.
By PISAI GUMAR