Ministerial vehicle bought with “savings”

Personnel savings of $145,000 tala from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (M.A.F) was used to procure “needed capital items” including a new Toyota Landcruiser Prado for the Minister.

This is according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Annual Report for Financial Years 2016-2017.

During that period a total of $145,000 was used to procure office equipment, tools, furniture and a new Toyota Landcruiser Prado for the Minister.

A total of $8 million was also appropriated for personnel expenditures and $43,000 allocated for un-utilised Board, Committees and casuals transferred to permanent staff or who resigned or were terminated. 

“Un-utilised retirement benefits were due to new 2015 policy with regards to calculation of benefits,” stated the report.

At the year end, the remaining operating funds of $65,000 was offset by the remaining personnel funds mentioned earlier. 

“This was due to the cancellation of the Minister's trip to Rome, the pending payment batches at Ministry of Finance during the closure of financial year where the outstanding balances have been carried forward to the next financial year and the unspent portion above,” stated the report. 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries report also noted a decrease of four per cent in the overall budget compared to the last financial year. 

There were also other expensive capital items, which were procured through donor assistance (World Bank – SACEP for the Crops Division). 

The report also noted that the appropriated total of $2.7 million was reduced by $23,000 compared to the previous financial year. 

“However, only $2.17 million was expended to pay membership fees ($18,000) with our international counterparts, land leases ($40,000) for the Ministry’s outreach programmes in rural areas, and other programmes, notably the agriculture week, coconut replanting day, open day, agro-show and the stimulus package programme. 

“The Ministry achieved its target of cost recovery collection by 28 per cent ($24,000) in monetary terms for this financial year but depends on the public demand,” stated the annual report.  

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