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ABG passes 2022 Supplementary Budget

The Bougainville House of Representatives passed the 2022 ABG Supplementary Budget on Friday last week during a special parliament sitting.

ABG Minister for Finance Hon. Mathias Salas tabled the 2022 Supplementary Budget statement detailing key changes made in the 2022 Supplementary Budget, highlighting massive cuts made by the National Government to Bougainville’s 2022 Restoration and Development Grant budget.

Minister Salas explained that the 2022 ABG Supplementary Budget is a reduced budget of K473,653,200.00 from the K549,324,600.00 which was passed in December 2021.

He noted in his statement that when the 11th National Government was formed in September this year, a 2022 National Supplementary Budget was subsequently passed in the National Parliament which saw substantial cuts to Bougainville’s development budget.

“I would like to inform you all that the ABG’s 2022 budget was the only one that was cut by a massive K50million in its development budget. All other provincial government’s budgets were not cut and remain the same,” he said.

He expressed disappointment that the National Government had slashed a significant amount from Bougainville’s Restoration and Development Grant budget, which is also a constitutionally guaranteed grant program established since 2005.

“As an aftermath of the National Government’s action, the ABG now faces a shortfall of K50million,” Salas said.

Minister Salas explained further that due to this cut in the ABG’s 2022 Restoration and Development Grant, a number of projects that were prioritized for 2022 had to be cut, however he added that these projects will be reinstated in the 2023 ABG Budget.

“This is to ensure that the ABG does not lose track of its priorities that were previously approved and must be seen to be carried out in the next budget or financial year,” he said.

Under the Bougainville Peace Agreement, the Restoration and Development Grant is a constitutionally guaranteed grant that is meant for Bougainville to rebuild infrastructure destroyed during the conflict.

Since the inception of the Autonomous Bougainville Government in 2005, the National Government has only paid a mere fraction of what it owes to Bougainville under the Restoration and Development Grant program.

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