Conditional approval for NIP budget

The New Ireland Provincial Government budget has been issued with conditional approval by Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey.

Conditional approval covers the first trifecta of the year for the months January to April inclusive, which enables the province to keep operating, but the Treasurer has sought more compliance before full approval is given.

“There are two issues associated with the 2021 Budget which need to be satisfied before full approval is given,” he said. “These are very important issues that go to the heart of transparency and accountability of provincial operations and finances.”

These are:

  • Submission of the Provincial Development Plan 2017-2022 (not the corporate plan).
  • Acquittals of all Lihir royalty funds from 2007 to 2020 totalling over K400 million.

Ling-Stuckey stated that the province must submit its cash flow requirement for the operational and capital budgets to Treasury to facilitate the release of warrant authorities.

“It is important that all provinces provide full information to Treasury when submitting their budgets for approval,” he explained. “Taxpayers have a right to know that Governor Sir Julius Chan and his provincial administration are using their money wisely and honestly.

“Equally important is that the national government, through the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) must be convinced that K400 million has been dispersed equally and proportionately between Kavieng and Namatanai districts and on sustainable projects and programs that benefit all New Irelanders.”

The 2021 provincial budget totals K238.8 million, consisting of public service and teacher leave fares of K3.3 million, national government current year development grants of K37.5 million, recurrent internal revenue of K42.8 million and development revenue of K73.2 million, and rollover development grants of K81.9 million.

The Treasurer said he looks forward to working with the NIPG to provide much needed services in New Ireland.

(The New Ireland Provincial budget presented to Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey at Waigani by provincial administrator, Lamiller Pawut, on April 14th)

Press release