Function grants to increase

The cost of services in individual districts is being used as a yardstick to determine how much in function grants districts receive.

This was stated in Parliament on Wednesday October 27 by Treasurer, Patrick Pruaitch, when presenting the National Economic and Fiscal Commission Annual Reports from 2010 to 2014.

Pruaitch said function grants increased significantly from K250 million in 2010 to K520 million in 2014.

This is due to the adoption of a new inter-governmental finance system which allows for district’s to have access to more funding based on the cost of services in their districts.

 “NEFC has just completed a full review of the cost of services. It revisited all 89  districts and collected data on the locations of schools, aid posts, and extension points.”

“It gathered data on the cost of diesel and zoom in each district and is now able to estimate the actual cost of delivering services in each district,” said Pruaitch.

He said for the first time, Provinces were receiving funding on how much they needed and highlighted Chimbu, Sandaun, Central and Milne Bay Provinces as having received significant increases.

Pruaitch said the NEFC is focused on providing government and all people with high quality evidence based data.

“The Commission is planning to provide more advice to the Government on how the distribution of all revenues can be improved to provide more equal access to basic services,” he said.

Cedric Patjole