Vanuatu Copra Subsidy Funds Exhausted

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Government suspends program half way through year

By Jane Joshua

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, July 1, 2013) – The Vanuatu Government’s budgetary allocation of around Vt108 million for the 2013 Copra Subsidy program has been exhausted.

The exhaustion of funds has forced the government to suspend the Copra Subsidy program, Wednesday this week (June 26).

Two days earlier Prime Minister Moana Carcasses signed the withdrawal instrument (Official Gazette No. 23 of 2013 and published on June 24), with immediate effect, transferring the responsibility for the Vanuatu Commodities Marketing Board (VCMB) from the Ministry of Tourism and Commerce (MTC) and assigning it to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

And on Wednesday, the PMO advised all copra buyers of the suspension of the government’s copra subsidy program.

"The government budgetary allocation for 2013 has 2013 is exhausted and there are not sufficient funds to meet all subsidy claims as submitted for payment," the PMO advised.

"Therefore it is much more appropriate that we suspend the current subsidy program and find ways of how to settle outstanding claims before we recommenced the subsidy program."

It further instructed all buyers to re-adjust their purchasing price of copra in line with the world market price of copra oil effective from June 26, 2014, rendering the cancellation of the VCMB advice from VCMB on June 24 on the extension of the subsidy program.

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