Fiji’s former central bank governor’s view on coming budget

Former RBF governor Savenaca Narube. Picture: FT FILE

ON the eve of the announcement of the 2019/2020 National Budget, former central bank governor and Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Savenaca Narube believes putting more money in miscellaneous services or Head 50 of the budget is bad planning.

Mr Narube, in his opinion piece on the 2019/2020 National Budget, said this reflected bad planning with a high risk of misuse.

“In my days as the permanent secretary finance, Head 50 was used to park estimates of projects that were not certain to start during the year,” Mr Narube said.

“Instead of allocating to the responsible ministries, the estimates are parked in Head 50 with the associated footnotes.

“If the project starts during the year, the amount is transferred to the ministry and recorded under the ministry’s spending. This process is in line with the requirement of the Financial Management Act for each spending to be appropriated.”

Funding allocations under Head 50 are administered by the Ministry of Economy.

According to the ministry, Head 50 includes projects that require additional scrutiny and stringent monitoring procedures to ensure funds are used properly.

The budget will be announced by the Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum tomorrow.

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