K165m budget approved for Gulf

A K165 million budget has been approved for Gulf Province with a focus on reopening vital service delivery links.

This include airstrips and feeder roads in districts and LLGs.

Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta said the budget yesterday is framed along the theme ‘Restore Governance, Strengthen Institutions and Improve Government Services in Health, Education and Infrastructure’.

Governor Haiveta said one of the main priorities under the budget is to reopen important links costing over K50 million, the highest allocation.

They include the airstrips in Kikori, Ihu and Malaua, upgrade to Gobe Airstrip, two bridges, a road from Petoi to Vailala, another road from the Western Banks of Vailala to Avavu, and the introduction of a barge system to transport locals from these areas to Kerema.

There are also appropriations for the design of the Paia Port.

Sectors such as education and health have received increased and additional funding, while appropriations have also been made for law and order, agriculture and the SME sectors.

Other notable allocations include:

  • K500,000 to Gulf Sports Trust
  • 5 percent (K8.3 million) of provincial appropriations to church
  • K500,000 to MiBank for Financial Inclusion Programme for Women
  • K500,000 for Gulf communities in Motu-Koita villages

The 2018 Provincial Budget is a 50 percent increase from 2017.

This is triggered by increases in Internal Revenue from  K28.6 million to K68 million, as well as the inclusion of the Infrastructure Development of K40 million and Log Export Development Levy of K2 million into the Budget.

While the National Government Grants remained the same at K87.8 million, the Provincial Government included the 2017 unused warrants of K11 million.

Governor Haiveta is confident the ceiling in the 2018 Budget will be achieved because of two important factors.

The first is the economic potential encapsulated in the petroleum projects in PNG LNG and Pasca while the second one will be from consolidation of internal and external revenue sources.

Cedric Patjole