TREASURER Ian Ling-Stuckey has approved Central’s 2021 budget and praised its commitment to sustainable development by empowering grassroots people.
The K272.7 million budget focuses on building the economic base of the province based on agriculture, tourism and sports.
“Governor Robert Agarobe’s money plan is in good alignment with the Marape Government’s take back PNG agenda,” Ling-Stuckey said.
“Its strategy of building on the fundamental strength of Central – the skills of the people and the productivity of their land – is also what underpins our PNG Connect policy to support economic growth by providing the necessary infrastructure and services.
“I look forward to supporting Agarobe and his team build the provinc’s economy and improve the quality of life of its people.”
Agarobe stressed the importance of supporting agriculture and included initiatives in the budget to:
- REHABILITATE and develop commercial plantations at Ilimo, Launakalana and Aroa;
- ESTABLISH a business arm to exploit markets and development opportunities;
- MAKE strategic investments in infrastructure that supports agriculture and markets, especially roads and bridges, wharves and jetties and rural airstrips;
- INVEST in markets to make them more accessible and affordable;
- ALLOW a voluntary mobilisation of customary land groups and formation of cooperative societies; and,
- DEVELOP and small-to-medium Enterprices in agriculture, with an emphasis on women farmers and entrepreneurs.
Agarobe said similar support was directed towards tourism and sports, and a reform of the provincial administration.
“We cannot continue to lament our limited economic base,” he said.
“Central is strategically located to be an economic powerhouse, and all of our energy and capacity is being directed towards achieving this.”