PLANNING Minister Paul Tiensten said next year’s budget would be K2 billion less than this year’s, and admitted a paradigm shift was necessary in Government policy and service delivery was necessary to bring change to rural people.
Mr Tiensten said in an Independence message that next year’s budget was expected to be K2 billion less than that of this year and last year.
This was because of the global economic downturn, which saw the demand and price for commodities fall.
He said despite the fall in revenue, positive growth in the economy was still maintained.
Mr Tiensten said the economic picture would improve in the next four to five years when the PNG LNG project and the Ramu nickel mine come on stream, underlining the country’s dependence on mineral exports.
Although he did not say, it was clear the Government would borrow to maintain expenditure prior to the gas and nickel project coming on stream.
Mr Tiensten said since Independence, PNG was now going through a phase of economic transformation and the Government required careful and realistic long-term planning, a paradigm shift in Government policy thinking and service delivery approach that would effectively trigger tangible growth and developments right down to the rural majority of the people.
He said some of the steps the Somare Government was taking to ensure this were policy initiatives and programmes such as the State-churches partnership agreement, public-private partnership (PPP), private sector growth strategy, economic corridors concept, district service improvement programme, health and education sectors improvement and rehabilitation programme, and national agriculture development plan, gender equality and women empowerment, information and communication technology, youth and sports, and the national transport plan.
But he said there were some programmes and policy initiatives including sector plans that needed to be reviewed and redefined so that “all can be synchronised to function coherently instead of taking many different unrealistic approaches and wasting so many resources to achieve the same result”.