Pruaitch defends DSIP funding

There is no budgetary cut to the District Service Improvement Program (DSIP) because the funding has brought more development to the village level than before, says Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch.

He was answering a series of questions about the relevance of DSIP funds after revealing the 2017 National Budget at the press lock-up on Monday.

After savings measures were introduced with declining revenue, all government priority areas experience cuts in the K12.9 billion budget handed down, except the DSIP component.  

But Provincial Service Improvement Program (PSIP) money allocated to provincial government to support their districts got a K10 million slice.

“There is a miss conception among academics about usage of DSIP, and let me tell you I come from a rural electorate, the only money works, and gets to be spent in those 89 electorates are those DSIP and PSIP,” Pruaitch said.  

“They are those one that takes our National Government funding to our rural schools, rural hospitals, (and) our jetties, those are the funding that are spent at the district level, and is a priority of this government and cuts are done to essential areas, but DSIP and PSIP is a major policy statement of this government and that is why it’s still reflected in the 2017 National budget.”

In next year money plan for the country, the provinces received the biggest cut of the budget with K3.6 billion, or 27.8 per cent of the total budget.

The major appropriations include PSIP K220 million, DSIP K890 million and Wards K61.8 million, that is the first time funding had been directed to the ward level.

The Minister is also the local MP for Aitape – Lumi electorate in West Sepik. 

Charles Yapumi