KIRIBATI REPORTS 14-MILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS FOR 1997

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KIRIBATI REPORTS $14 MILLION 1997 SURPLUS

TARAWA, Kiribati (January 21, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---The Kiribati government has reported surplus revenue of $Aus 21 million ($US 14 million) for 1997.

The surplus was generated mainly from fishing licenses, which last year amounted to $Aus 28 million ($US 18.7 million), the largest amount received since the country became independent in 1979, Radio Kiribati reports.

About $Aus 4 million ($US 2.7 million) of the surplus revenue will be deposited into the Kiribati reserve fund while the remainder will be used to finance this year's government expenditures.

Kiribati’s 1998 government budget totals $Aus 51 million ($US 34 million), with $Aus 3 million ($US 2 million) set aside for development projects.

This year's budget reflects a decrease from last year in the amount of $Aus2 million ($US 1.3 million).

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