PRIME Minister Rick Hou has encouraged the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to show responsibility in deliberating on the 2018 Budget.
Prime Minister Hou made this statement when clarifying reasons for the prolonging of the Budget.
He explained that Parliament was adjourned to 19 March 2018 to allow for the PAC to deliberate on the 2018 Budget.
He said that the Budget papers were passed to the PAC last week, which would have provided 2 weeks for them to deal with it.
“Unlike previous years, the PAC was given less than two weeks but this time it was given two weeks,” he said.
The Prime Minister said he has received a letter from PAC Chairman requesting an extension for another two weeks.
“Requesting another two weeks will be a total of four weeks, holding the country in suspense,” he said.
Prime Minister Hou said this request for further extension is not in the best interest of the country.
“The longer PAC hearings are extended, the further we will delay delivery to our people. The PAC has a responsibility to discharge its duty efficiently. Therefore, the onus is on the PAC to show responsibility and to ensure they complete their work quickly,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the Budget process must be done quickly and should not be delayed to victimize our people and services in our country.