He said this is to ensure they start on a clean state with fewer distractions from legacy issues as well as to ensure frontline services in the provinces and districts are operational.
Abel said this in a media conference on Monday.
He stated the 2018 accounts are closing in a relatively healthy position largely due to improvements in tax collection, increased dividend payments, rebounding commodity process and the unprecedented international financing secured this year.
“We are all working together to ensure that this process is as disciplined as possible and we execute 2018 budget and start 2019 fresh for the first time in a long time, with some money in the account so we are able to release TFF early, we are able to get some of the functional grants out early, and we are able to ensure that medical procurement are on track,” stated Abel.
He said the revenue improvements and savings from refinancing has resulted in the government being better placed to meet this year’s commitments and pay down significant arrears.
He added 2018 has been an effective tool to get on top of many of the longstanding structural issues that have stalled or derailed past budgets.
Abel stated Treasury is now fully geared towards ensuring budgets are executed as appropriated by Parliament.
“We have formal close of accounts on 14th of December. So from now until 14th of December is the time that commitments made are possible. Of course after the 14th there’s no more commitments that can enter the system.
“So from the 14th to the 31st is the remaining time where cheques will be entertained I suppose, cheques that have come through the valid process through the Budget Management Committee, and clearance from Finance will be entertained.
“After the 31st of December no cheques from 2018 or prior years like 2017 will be entertained. They will all be cancelled and they will be raised in the 2019 appropriation,” said Abel.
(Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel filepic)