The National Parliament of Solomon Islands has passed the 2023 budget of, “Four billion, six hundred and sixteen million, three hundred and five thousand and six hundred and thirty-four dollars ($4,616,305,634)” through the Committee of Supply on Wednesday 14th December 2022 without amendments.
The Bill passed through its third reading without amendments, only with a few corrections as stated by the Minister of Finance and Treasury before presenting the Bill to His Excellency the Governor General for assent.
The issue of this amount from the consolidated fund is authorized to the service of the financial year ending 31st December 2023. The Total recurrent budget is $3,267,963,466, whilst the total development budget is $1,170,916,770. The Total budget support expenditure is $177,425,398. These make up the total appropriation funding of $4,616,305,634 for the 2023 financial year.
In brief summary;
Of the total Recurrent Estimates of $3,267,963,466, six Ministries or agencies have the biggest share for their recurrent estimates;
• Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development $1,087,582,079
• Ministry of Health and Medical Services $472,684,917
• Ministry of Police, National Security, and Correctional Services $327,205,679
• Ministry of Finance and Treasury $160,703,333
• Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening $146,530,991
• National Parliament of Solomon Islands $104,617,496
• Ministry of Rural Development $102,472,973
Two ministries have the biggest share of the total budget support estimates of $177,425,398. This includes;
• Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development $96,370,825
• Ministry of Health and Medical Services $64,568,206
And of the total Development Estimates of $1,170,916,770 three Ministries have the biggest budget estimates. They are;
• Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet $374,000,000
• Ministry of Rural Development $261,000,000
• Ministry of Infrastructure Development $112,200,000
The 2023 Appropriation Bill sets annual limits on new Government borrowing, for the purpose of section 66(2) of the Public Financial Management Act 2013 under 2 categories of permitted borrowing.
- Borrowing by way of Treasury Bills to deal with exceptional circumstances
- Borrowing from development partners or domestic financial institutions for the purpose of high-priority infrastructure and development initiatives.
The Bill passed also specifies a borrowing limit for each category of permitted borrowing. This was read in conjunction with the Budget papers provided to Parliament, including Budget Paper 1: Financial Policy Objectives and Strategies Statement.
It will now become an Act of Parliament that allows the Minister for Finance and Treasury to issue, in accordance with sections 55 and 56 of the Public Finance and Management Act 2013, a General Warrant to the Permanent Secretary of Finance and Treasury for up to four billion, six hundred and sixteen million, three hundred and five thousand and six hundred and thirty-four dollars for the services of the Government for the next year 2023.
This further allows the issue of Accounting Warrants by the Permanent Secretary in accordance with section 57 of the Public Financial Management Act 2013.
In addition to the amount authorized by this Act, a further $173, 075, 946 is forecast to be expended through statutory charges on the Consolidated Fund, including $141,584,206 to be expended on National Debt Repayments. These Statutory Appropriations are explained in the Financial Policy Objectives and Strategies Statement (Budget Paper 1) and the Recurrent Estimates Document (Budget Paper 2) and are appropriated by existing legislation or the Constitution.