The Autonomous Bougainville Government today passed a record K439 million 2020 budget in parliament.
This 2020 ABG budget is themed as a budget focused on post-referendum.
ABG Minister for Finance and Treasury, Hon. Robin Wilson, said that the 2020 budget is incorporating funds which have been delayed and also new funding commitments that were announced by the PNG Prime Minister James Marape during his recent visit to Bougainville.
Minister Wilson said today in parliament that that 2020 budget has increased support from the national government.
“This 2020 budget has an increased funding support from the national government, especially with the new Marape government’s concern to uphold the Bougainville Peace Agreement by sorting out the past financial issues,” he said.
The 2020 ABG budget totals to K439, 725, 843.00, of which covers both conditional and unconditional grants.
The projected revenue summary is as follows:
- National Government Recurrent Grants – K150, 964, 000.00
- National Government Grants Conditional – K138, 000, 000.00
- National Government Grants Unconditional – K50, 000, 000.00
- Internal Revenue – K30, 490, 000.00
- Reappropriated Funds – K16, 671, 843.00
- Donor Funds – K3, 600, 000.00
The increase in funds from the national government as shown above is mainly under the Restoration and Development Grants (RDG) of approximately K150 million of which K100 million is earmarked for road infrastructure and K50 million for RDG.
Minister Wilson further announced the ABG’s priority sectors for development with the following funds earmarked to it as follows:
- Infrastructure: K13 million
- Governance and Administration: K11 million
- Economic Development: K39.4 million
- Social Sector – Health: K8 million
- Police Plan – K6 million
- Education: K8 million
- Post referendum dialogue and consultation: K10 million
- Peace Initiatives: K9 million
- ABG Elections 2020: K7 million
- Constituency-based development: K9.6 million
- Outstanding SIF Contractual obligations: K35 million
- Recurrent expenditure (Departments): K176.4 million
Minister Wilson said this development expenditure is higher than the operational expenditure which reflects positively on ABG with more funds allocated for development through the RDG and conditional grants.
“With the increased allocation on development expenditure, ABG expects more service delivery to its people through better roads, more police personnel, educational and health institutions,” he said.
With the 2020 budget focused on post-referendum, Minister Wilson says the budget is designed to progress the post-referendum process towards the ratification stage.
“With the current national government headed by PM Marape, we are seeing the good collaboration between both governments as funds are being allocated to Bougainville as per his promise along with economic empowerment and infrastructure development,” he said.
Meanwhile, ABG President, Grand Chief Dr John Momis, has supported this budget saying that the focus on post-referendum is critical to ensure the government effectively implements its tasks in the consultation process.
The President also thanked the National Government under the Marape-Davies leadership for their strong show of commitment to implement the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
“This government, our people, say thank you to the national government under the new prime minister, Hon. James Marape, the first prime minister to commit to honoring the Bougainville Peace Agreement, the first prime minister to assure Bougainville is getting what it deserves and the first prime minister to promote economic empowerment to ABG overall and as such we will see notable increase in the national government grants,” Momis said.
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