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Bougainville House of Representatives passes ABG 2023 Budget

The 2023 ABG Budget is focused on service delivery, increasing revenues and providing facilities and infrastructure, economic development, peace, security and human development.

ABG Minister for Treasury and Finance Hon. Mathias Salas announced this in parliament this week when he tabled the 2023 ABG Budget speech.

 “The major focus of the 2023 ABG Budget is the consolidation of the peace and political process through economic and infrastructure development to prepare and mobilize the people for the conduct of consultations and negotiations for Independence in Bougainville,” Salas said.

The ABG’s 2023 money plan is framed under the theme “Implementing Independence Readiness” with a total appropriation of K679,179,000 – inclusive of national government grants, internal ABG revenue and re-appropriated funds from 2022.

Minister Salas explained that the 2023 budget has a significant increase of 59% in revenue and a 15% increase in National Government grants to Bougainville, bulk of which is sourced from the re-appropriated balances under this year’s budget which the ABG is yet to receive from the national government.

The 2023 ABG Budget predicts an increase in internal revenue at an estimated total of K55million.

Much of these revenue raising initiatives of the government will primarily be done through tax and revenue legislation development led by the Bougainville Tax Office.

“A major policy initiative of the Toroama-Nisira Government is to take and strengthen our revenue raising measures to the next level, not necessarily by increasing taxes, but by creating a broad-based tax regime that will not burden tax payers too much,” Salas said.

 “There are other opportunities which the ABG will endeavor to substantially increase internal revenue, but these will require formal government interventions and serious engagements with relevant national agencies so that they may be progressed.”

Speaking on development projects across all sectors, Minister Salas explained that all projects were compiled based on the bottom-up approach of budget consultations with District and Community Governments held in the second quarter of this year, ensuring that the programs and projects identified directly addresses people’s needs and reflects ABG’s priorities.

Under the 2023 Public Investment Program, Bougainville will be in receipt of a massive K265,000.00 which is inclusive of the K100million RDG, K100million under the Prime Minister’s commitment to Bougainville and the new Provincial and District Infrastructure Program of K25million.

The K100million RDG has been allocated to projects according to sector priorities with infrastructure receiving 29% of the total funds, economic sector with 22%, governance sector 15%, followed by education, health, law and justice and community development.

The Prime Minister’s commitment of K100million has been allocated to three priority sectors which are health, education and infrastructure.

Under the K25million Provincial and District Infrastructure Development Program, a significant portion has been allocated exclusively to district roads upgrade and maintenance, district building infrastructures and headquarter building infrastructure.

This reflects the executive government’s focus on significantly improving service delivery in the districts, increasing revenues and providing good facilities and infrastructure for the people in preparation  for independence-readiness.

The 2023 ABG Budget was unanimously passed on the floor of the Bougainville House of Representatives yesterday afternoon following leader’s debate which saw a majority of the House in support of the money plan for 2023.

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