By ISAAC NICHOLAS
IT iS all set, Treasurer and Finance Minister Peter O’Neill said of the supplementary and the 2011 budgets which he will present in parliament at 2pm today.
The supplementary budget – expected to be about K500 million – would go towards meeting outstanding obligations, including commitments to the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project landowners.
Next year’s budget is expected to be about K8 billion that would address key government priorities in the district support improvement programme (DSIP), transport infrastructure programme and rural electrification.
It will be O’Neill’s first full budget as treasurer. He will be accompanied by National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten in laying out the development budget.
The budget would represent the start of the medium-term development plan (MTDP) to 2015.
Under the MTDP, the government will focus on a development expenditure of K36 billion over five years to create an additional 315,200 jobs throughout the country.
The MTDP is also the first five-year stage in the government’s broader 20-year development strategy (PNGDSP) and realisation of the Vision 2050 programme, which provides the overall direction of PNG’s development initiatives for the next 40 years.
The plan is expected to achieve an average economic growth of 8.5% a year, resulting in a healthy rise in the average GDP per person from K3,430 this year to K4,638 by 2015.
The most significant aspects of the MTDP included:
*The upgrading of 16 national priority roads, construction of 16 “missing link” roads and construction of four additional economic corridor national roads;
*The construction of 315 new aid posts nationwide in line with targets set for 2030 under the DSP. The plan required the Department of Health to hire 50 additional doctors and 787 nurses by 2015;
*In the education sector, 1,678 new primary and secondary schools would be built across the nation in every province with more than 9,800 teachers recruited in the next five years;
* In higher education, about 21,500 university places would be created, 6,800 technical and business college places, 8,000 teacher places, 5,000 nursing places, 3,700 vocational training institution places and improved access to internet and communication technologies; and
*K1.1 billion would be spent on improving the law and order situation.