by Fabian Hakalits – EM TV, Buka
Bougainville’s time frame to achieve fiscal self-reliance is already in doubt.
This was revealed by President, Chief Doctor John Momis.
Momis says members elected into the third Autonomous Bougainville Government must work hard to improve financial capacity. He added that the referendum timetable has placed pressure on the Autonomous Bougainville Government to achieve its fiscal self-reliance rapidly.
Bougainville’s internally-derived revenue is only K30 million, ten times lower than its annual budget, and Momis says this cannot deliver self-reliance.
“Our annual budget is over K300, but internally derived revenue is only about K30 million, gradual economic expansion will not deliver self-reliance (covering costs of current service) as well as providing the much improved from levels of services Bougainvilleans both expect and deserve,” he said.
President Momis says Bougainville will be accorded full autonomy, unless it achieves its fiscal reliance.
Economy is the vehicle that sustains growth and development in any island state like the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, says North Bougainville Women’s Representative and Deputy Speaker, Francisca Semoso.
Semoso is critical because of the referendum call, saying Bougainville needs a stable financial capacity.
“So the third house is really important that we find a way now. If ways and strategies are already there, we need to make them work. This will be the house that will look at the financial capacity and strengthen what we have as a government,” she said.
Semoso said solidarity is needed, and both the National and Autonomous Bougainville Government, must move Bougainville forward.