Goroka MP, Bire Kimisopa, says that there is a need for a supplementary budget.
During questions without notice yesterday, the member demanded Treasury Minister, Patrick Pruaitch, inform parliament of when the government would introduce the Supplementary Budget.
Kimisopa told parliament that the utility of the supplementary budget will be lost if it’s introduced together with the national budget in November.
“Mr Speaker, also you would deny, the important stakeholders of this country such as people and business, who are deeply engaged with the government in one way or another.
“They will be denied certainly in terms of their services provided to the nation,” he said.
Another concern was on budget appropriations, which Kimisopa said would breach Constitutional and Parliamentary Laws if the government intends to table a supplementary budget, with the 2017 Budget in November.
“Once appropriations have been set, Mr Speaker, we all know that it is law. If you were to make the corrections in November, then you’re in breach of the law.
“Mr Speaker, another frightening trend is that, in the absence of a supplementary budget, you allow businesses to transact with the government to the point where cheques are issued, and is quite disappointing and alarming Mr Speaker, just after 2015 fiscal year, approximately well over K400 million worth of cheques are still floating earmarked for 2015 and eventually got paid in 2016. This is the kind of situation we have,” said Kimisopa.
Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch was tight-lipped in response, instead assuring that the government was in control, ensuring there were appropriate strategies in place before the supplementary budget is introduced.
“This is the second week of parliament. Government is working through to ensure that appropriate strategies are put in place before a supplementary budget is introduced.
“The government is looking at taking some corrective measures because government is realistically assessing and will be handing down a supplementary budget shortly,” Pruaitch said.