Fisheries Minister explains EMS budget reduction
August 19, 2021 5:55 am
The Fisheries Minister explained in Parliament yesterday the reason why there was a reduction in budgetary allocation for the Electronic Monitoring System.
The allocation of $600,000 in 2020-21 budget was reduced to $380,000 in the latest national budget.
Responding to Opposition, Minister Semi Koroilavesau says the system was developed through the assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organisation from 2015 to 2019.
“At the end of FAO’s engagement, Government then allocated $600,000 during the 2020 -2021 budget year. Since equipment and training needs had already being cared for, the amount of $600,000 was committed towards the Payment of 6 trained staff salaries inclusive of FNPF and allowances amounting and Payment to Service Providers, Satlink International for onboard and onshore service maintenance”.
Koroilavesau adds during the utilization of these funds, they identified that part of the fund will roll over to the 2021-22 fiscal year.
To address this, the Ministry had to make appropriate adjustments to ensure that funds are utilized to its full capacity.
“That is why Honourable Speaker the 2021- 2022 fiscal year reflects a reduction in budget to $380,000. This allocation will cater for staff pay of $123,619.65
Additionally, the balance of $256,380 will go to any gear changes or replacements that maybe needed due to the nature of the EMS operating environment.