PM explains exclusion of info


THE Treasury Department was instructed not to factor in new resource project numbers into the 2022 National Budget, Prime Minister James Marape says.
Marape told the 2021 PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference and Exhibition yesterday that he had directed Treasury not to add Papua LNG, P’Nyang and Wafi-Golpu numbers into the budget.
This was for the country to look more into growing its economy and revenue through downstream processing in the sustainable industries.
Marape said the Government handed down a budget and the noteworthy aspect was that the economic outlook had not considered the major projects yet to come online.
“We are working on them (projects) and if they come, that’s a big bonus for us.” Marape said PNG’s donors in the International Monetary Fund and Australia had encouraged the Government’s economic modelling for the 2020s and beyond to focus on downstream processing.
“Especially our sustainable industries, forestry, fisheries, agriculture and, of course, our greater push for downstream processing in the mining space, especially in the domestic market for our gas,” he added. Marape said the Government aimed to continue to reduce the budget deficit from eight per cent to 5.6 per cent by 2023.
“We restructured, put all our sovereign debts as well as inherent debts that we were carrying in many of our state owned enterprises onto the table and established our deficit proper at around 8 per cent and for next year, we are focusing our deficit to be around 5.6 per cent.”
He said the Government had adopted a fiscal consolidation strategy and hoped to hit a budget surplus by 2027 and total debt eradication by 2034.
Marape said this would be brought about through the development of downstream processing in all its major sectors as well as the coming on line of major resource projects and other initiatives to support and strengthen the domestic economy.