Vele: We have to change

National, Normal

The National, Thursday February 6th, 2014

 WHEN Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele’s father Morea was Secretary for Finance and Planning, he was excited if he had a national budget of K500 million to control.

Fast forward to 2014, the son Dairi, is now in charge of a national budget of K15 billion.

The young Vele recited this anecdote to department heads, chief executives, managing directors and provincial administrators at the annual leaders’ summit in Port Moresby yesterday. 

He gave a review of 2013 budget performance and 2014 budget delivery strategy.

“We are in transition from a small economy to a large economy,” he said.

“When my father was the secretary for finance and planning, he was so excited that he had a K500 million budget.

“We’ve now got a K15 billion budget. Therefore, all the structures, all the mechanisms we are using, to manage our money have to change.

“If we don’t change, if we keep to where we are, we’re going to end up in places where we don’t want to be.

“In terms of the budget for 2014, it comes down to two words – growth and change.

“Growth must be the number one priority for every department in this country. Growth is what feeds us. Twenty years ago, we were focused on maintenance. Don’t build new things, just keep what you have.”