Municipal heads cautioned to utilised capital projects grants
Municipal councils would have Government grants for capital projects taken away if no progress is being made on getting works done. Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Kumar cautioned chief executives and special administrators yesterday. He was speaking during the Special Administrators’ and Chief Executive Officers’ Forum at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka. He said Government had continued to provide an annual grant of $4 million, more commonly known as the Challenge Fund, for the improvement of infrastructure, capital works and upgrading of properties. However, he said progress work on capital projects had been slow. “I am not going to single out any municipal council but take this as a very serious note from me.” “From now on, if you are not going to be on par with ministry officials on carrying out the projects, you are not going to get the funds,” he said. “I want you all to be Local Government Administrators who can get things done and let me be clear that we must aim to be the best and to be that must require strong leadership.” Mr Kumar said councils now were fortunate that they were given annual allocations from Government as compared to the past where they were left to run on their own. “I can assure you that under this Government, it would continue,” he said. He said it was a fact that some municipal councils did not have the financial capacity to carry out capital projects on their own and this was why Government was assisting.
Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Kumar (left) with his Permanent Secretary, Joshua Wycliffe during the Special Administrators’ and Chief Executive Officers’ Forum at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka.