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Most budget allocations paid out

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, May 25, 2011) - Government agencies were yesterday told they had no excuse for not delivering its service and development agenda for 2011.

In an update of the nation’s state of the economy, Finance and Treasury Minister, Peter O’Neill, told Parliament over 60 percent of the recurrent budget warrants had been released to them.

He said nearly 40 percent of the development budget warrants had also been released during the same period. Mr O’Neill said the Government had taken steps to ensure that funding was available in a timely manner for delivery of goods and services throughout the country under this year’s theme of "Year of Implementation".

O’Neill said funding for key programs had already been released.

They include education subsidies (PGK172 million [US$71 million]), medical drugs (PGK113 million [US$46 million]), HIV&AIDS drugs (PGK15 million [US$6 million]), medical equipment (PGK28 million [US$11 million]), curriculum development material (PGK30 million [US$12 million]) and secondary school equipment (PGK20 million [US$8 million]).

"This is a significant achievement and it is now the responsibility of agencies to deliver the government’s agenda," he said.

"This Government will continue to manage its finances prudently to make sure that demands for cash are met but at the same time ensure that the cash that is released is used to deliver goods and services as intended and not end up sitting idly in a bank account," O’Neill said.

He said under the development budget, a total of PGK688 million [US$285 million] had been released by the end of April.

"There is no point in releasing funds to agencies if they are not spending well or are spending them on lower priority matters," O’Neill said.

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