Wednesday, 30 September 2009 7:11 AM

Government Addresses Provincial Grants Issue

The government admits that provincial service grants are inadequate to maintain the administration of public services in the provinces.

These grants include other resources such as manpower and infrastructure.

The admission is contained in a response from the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening to a resolution from last year's premiers' conference.

Among the 28 resolutions from the Lata communiqué, resolution five requests that provincial service grants be subjected to immediate formal review.

While admitting that the grants have been inadequate, the ministry states that the government had continued to maintain an annual budgetary increase of three per cent on the service grants.

The ministry says this increase comprises of library service, shipping service, revenue sharing, fixed service, road maintenance, special supplementary, productive resources and town and country planning service.

The ministry says these were increased by 10 per cent in 2009, and the productive resources grant was increased by a further 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, the ministry of provincial government further states that an expert has been engaged to assist in the design of an appropriate formula for disbursement of the provincial service grant in future.

It says work on data collection in provinces is underway, and a further analysis on these data will be done later this year.