New National Planning and Monitoring Minister Sam Basil will face challenges in delivering the 2020 Census in July and the Medium Term Development Plan III 2018 to 2022.
This was the message echoed by the outgoing Minister Richard Maru during the handover takeover ceremony yesterday when welcoming Basil to office.
Outgoing Minister Richard Maru also challenged Basil to review the National Statistics Office (NSO) and National Identification (NID) project.
Minister Maru who is now the Finance Minister stressed that he will support Basil with funds from his office to deliver these projects on time and under the development budget.
Minister Maru said the department (National Planning) under him spent two years to focus and review the MTDP III before launching it.
“Your job and my job is to make sure your provided funding and resources to fund the plan”, Minister Maru said.
“We costed the entire plan and it’s over K25 billion, we must raise,find and provide at least K5 billion each year for the terminal budget in the plan”, he stressed.
“As the Finance Minister I will do everything to have cash available to help you fund the development budget but that’s not easy;
Every month we should be providing between K2 to 3 million to planning but that’s not the case currently, “he stressed.
Minister Maru said this is because of the tight cash flow situation in the country and that’s an area of weakness.
He said with these you have to focus on three major things;
1. Tax Credit Policy
2. Development Cooperative Policy
3. Concessional Financiers
Minister Maru said with the tax credit policy;
“We have reviewed the policy and launched it, you must find a new head of tax credit and get applications in and start processing projects which are tobe funded by resource companies and companies who joined the scheme”, he stressed.
With the Development Cooperative Policy, it will take every donor to provide 50% aid for infrastructure development in schools, bridges, and roads.
“You must be firm on that policy, make the donors fund projects identified and prioritized in the MTDP III.
They do not come and choose their own programs,” stressed Maru.
He also told Basil to look at other concessional financiers like Korea and India. He stressed;
“We cannot go the same countries all the time and same banks to borrow,I encourage you to look at this country’s (Korea & India), their terms could be better in terms of the grace period and the interest rates,” he said.
Maru advised Basil to get this done to see key projects funded and delivered.
Meanwhile, Minister Sam Basil said it now his job to measure the last two years of performances and move forward from there.
He said; “I will work closely with the secretary to make sure that were we are and where we can pick from, how we will prioritize and move forward.”
He stressed that he is happy with the policies on the development cooperative plans, tax credit and the MTDP III and will ensure the outgoing minister’s hard work will not go to waste.