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Fuel costs cause $1.8 million overrun

By Bernadette H. Carreon

KOROR (Palau Horizon, Sept. 28, 2009) - President Johnson Toribiong is seeking a supplemental budget of over US$1,800,000 to pay for excessive costs and expenses incurred during Fiscal Year 2009 due to the rising costs of electricity and fuel.

President Toribiong, the night before he left for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, submitted the proposed supplemental budget to the lawmakers.

Toribiong left for New York on Sept. 19.

The president in justifying the request for additional budget said that the cost and expenses are "unavoidably" incurred.

US$1,011,800 is requested for water and sewer operations while the amount of US$462,500 for the Capitol Complex electricity and maintenance and remaining balance of US$334,119 for other governmental operations.

The president said the money could be taken out of inflation Adjustment Fund Compact and from the remaining balance of the Mega Bank Loan.

US$1,165,000 will be derived from the Inflation Adjustment Fund and the US$635,419 will be taken out of the Mega Bank loan remaining balance.

The president in his transmittal letter said that the money is needed before the end of the Fiscal Year which is Sept. 30.

"This supplemental budget is needed to allow our government to satisfy all expenses incurred in FY2009 for the delivery of basic services of our government and our people," Toribiong said.

The president wants the president’s office budget to increase from US$650,000 to US$775,019 and the grants coordinator office from US$68,634 to US$85,834.

The FY2009 budget of Palau is in the amount of US$58.35 million.

Government revenue collection is said to fall short of its target.

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