MARSHALL ISLANDS BUDGET OF $106 MILLION PASSED, MANY CHANGES

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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (September 28, 2001 – Marshall Islands Journal)---In the newly approved fiscal year 2002 budget, several ministries received increases prior to its passage.

The ministries/agencies receiving funding above the amounts listed in the General Fund budget originally introduced last month include: President’s office, Health, Education, R&D, Internal Affairs, Justice, Finance, Foreign Affairs and Public Works.

Ministries and agencies whose General Fund budgets were cut include: Public Service Commission, Judiciary and Transportation and Communication.

Special Appropriations -- which is the catchall for everything from government electric bills to Tobolar subsidies to international organization membership fees -- were reduced by $516,000 to $6,563,985. Specific areas reduced were: government electricity bill by $156,000 to $1.2 million, government electric bills/Ebeye by $50,000 to $100,750, land leases by $172,000 to $1 million and international memberships by $51,750 to $300,000. A line item for Marshall Islands Resort (Outrigger) for $186,911 was deleted.

In this category, prior year liabilities were added for a total of $100,000.

In the capital account, two items changed: the RMI contribution to its new government trust fund was reduced by $500,000 to $14 million, and prior year liabilities was added to the list for a total of $500,000.

While the Ministry of T&Cs General Fund budget for ship operations and ministry administration was slashed by $542,814, dropping to $1,158,207, it received an increase of $230,000 under Compact communications funding. In previous years, V7AB received a portion (approximately $230,000) of the $500,000 allocated under the Compact for communications. This year, the entire $500,000 is going to T&C for the development of an outer island communication system.

Following is a breakdown of increases/cuts for various government departments in the new FY’02 budget:

Ministries/departments whose budgets didn’t change:

The Marshall Islands Journal, Box 14, Majuro, Marshall Islands 96960 E-mail: journal@ntamar.com  Subscriptions (weekly): 1 year US $87.00; international $213.00 (air mail).

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