K2bil deficit in budget: Basil

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By HELEN TARAWA
TREASURER Sam Basil, pictured, says the 2019 budget has a K2 billion deficit due to defaults in collection.
“This year we have run a deficit budget of K2bil. We have budgetary support financing from China Development Bank of K1 billion ($US300 million) and other initiatives through other financers such as Credit Swiss,” Basil said yesterday. He said that from January to the time the Marape-Government took over, the budget support process had not taken place.
“We‘ve taken over the baton and we are pushing for those budget support to come in.
“Also, we’d like to make it known that our collections for this year from our non-tax revenue and dividends, we have come short by K500 million.
“Those are the pressures that have been added on to Treasury and to Internal Revenue Commission and PNG Customs Services – to collect more money to fund the budget.
“We are still pushing for the China Development Bank financing and Credit Swiss.
“We do understand that we are short of K500 million and if we have to take some corrective measures, we will announce them in the next sitting of Parliament. “At this very trying and hard times, we do realise the shortfall of dividends and non-tax revenues that have reported in the Mid-Year Economic Outlook Report, that we are under by K500 million.”
Basil said if there was underreporting of K18 billion, the tax agents’ creditability must be questioned and if they were operating within the code of conduct in filing for their clients. “While commending IRC for its efforts in recovering the monies, we will look at Exiting Act and regulations and penalties of IRC,” he said.
“We want to make it harder for defaulters, especially those tax agents that are committing the same offence cover and over, depriving the state of its revenue that we should be collecting.”

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