‘The government has funds available’ says Finance Permanent Secretary Mckinnie Dentana. Mr. Dentana denies the government has cash flow problems when responding to a statement made by the Education Permanent Secretary Dr. Franco Rodie.
Rodie when responding to the press regarding outstanding allowances for government sponsored law students says the students did not get their allowance because of finance problems.
‘Between October, November to December, some students did not receive their allowances. Why? Because our finance is ‘bagarap’. Rodie said the government did not have much finances.
‘Although the payment for the allowances were raised, we did not pay them. So what the finance department has instructed us at the beginning of this year is to re-raise those requisitions so that they can be paid and we have done that’.
But the Finance Permanent Secretary, Mckinnie Dentana says the government has $200m cash at hand.
‘What we saw was a stress on the process. A lot of pressure has come towards the end of the year including holidays. It is not a funding issue. It is a processing pressure in the ministry of finance, especially as far as our capacity is concerned. That is the main issue. For your information we move from 2022 to 2023 almost $200 million in cash. That’s why I am saying it’s not a financing issue but a processing stress’.
The Chairman of the National Disaster Council, Dr. Melchior Mataki earlier told the Press that the government still owed suppliers almost $9m for their service to the government during the pandemic.