State funds, growth focus

November 17, 2015

GOVERNMENT will continue to channel adequate budgetary resources to key priority sectors that are able to deliver quick returns and support a higher, broad-based, inclusive and sustainable growth in the economy.

The Finance Ministry in its 2016 National Budget supplement said significant investment would continue to be undertaken in various sectors including infrastructure development, education, health, housing, water, and energy to improve overall economic activity and raise living standards.

It stated that the guiding principles for the 2016 expenditure funding included directing resources towards programs that ensure inclusive growth, generates income and employment opportunities and facilitates investments.

It also includes improving quality of government spending by minimising operational costs and shifting resources from operating to capital expenditure.

Funding support towards key infrastructure development programs, fostering self-help initiatives and small and medium enterprises development and promoting financial inclusion support for initiatives that promote food security and explore export opportunities, contingency funding for natural disasters, support to accelerate key public sector and structural reforms and promotion of green economy initiatives aligned to green growth framework, he said were also included.

It said Government would continue to ensure that the financial resources allocated were used prudently and in a productive manner.

Some of the proposed measures for 2016 Budget, he said, included increases in staffing, particularly technical positions and remuneration needed to be well justified in comparison with productivity improvements and demand for services and ministries and departments would be required to spend within their respective personal emolument allocations as approved by Parliament.

Agencies, he said, would be provided adequate operational funding for travel, telecommunication and other incidentals and would be required to utilise these funds in an efficient and effective manner

“Operating and capital grant recipients will provide Ministry of Finance with specifications of the grant program, key performance indicators and cash flow forecasts to ensure effective use of resources.

“Funding for ongoing capital programs will be based on assessment of progressive achievement of the output.”

Priority for funding for newly proposed projects, it said, would be based on proper feasibility assessments and project plans taking into consideration the potential benefit to the economy.

SOURCE: Fiji Times