Parliament approves use of $917 million from Consolidated Fund
In anticipation of a delay in passage of an appropriation act for next year, the Ministry of Finance and Treasury will draw millions from the Consolidated Fund to maintain public services.
Parliament yesterday passed a resolution allowing the finance ministry to authorise the issue of more than $917 million from the Consolidated Fund to meet necessary expenditures before the Appropriation Act 2018 comes into operation.
Minister of Finance and Treasury Manasseh Sogavare brought the resolution to Parliament.
He said given the outcome of the vote of no confidence and the election of a new Prime Minister last Wednesday, it is unlikely that the new Government will pass the 2018 budget in the next few weeks.
Mr Sogavare said in a situation where the appropriation act could be delayed, Parliament has provisions to empower the finance minister to pass an interim budget in advance of an appropriation budget for the following year.
“What this resolution does, Mr Speaker, is to enable the salaries and services which Government funds to flow unimpeded from January 1, 2018,” Mr Sogavare said in Parliament.
More than $917 million is to be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund to sustain public service activities in the first four months from the beginning of the 2018 financial year or when the Appropriation Act 2018 comes into operation, whichever is earlier.
By Leni Dalavera