Saturday, January 30, 2010
Poor provinces better spenders
BY ROBERT PALME
POOR provinces are better in spending than the rich provinces.
Chairman and chief executive officer of the National Economical and Fiscal Commission Dr Nao Badu, speaking at the launching of the 2008 Provincial Expenditure Review said poor provinces seem to give priority where it is due while rich provinces do the contrary.
Supported by graphs, Dr Badu showed that six higher funded provinces accounted for 70 per cent of the administration increases while priority areas like health, village courts, agriculture and infrastructure declined in 2008.
The publication on the review says, "Some provinces showed levels of spending on MTDS (medium term development strategy) priority sectors compared to previous years. These include Enga, Gulf, Western Highlands and Eastern Highlands."
Positive spending provinces include Central, Milne Bay, East Sepik and Saundaun while improvements were made in Western, Southern Highlands and New Ireland provinces.
The review also says lower funded provinces have increased funding being targeted towards health and agriculture while the higher funded provinces have the ability to do better but they have not been adequately funding priority sectors.
The review in expenditures 2008 by provincial governments called Walking the Talk says there is a funding gap that can only be addressed by provinces choosing to spend the amount required on priority areas which may mean reducing spending in one area such as casual wages and projects and redirecting to such as areas as health.