Polye claims balanced budget

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The National, Tuesday 22nd November 2011

FINANCE and Treasury Minister Don Polye is expected to hand down a K10 billion budget for 2012.
He said because the budgetary process might not be completed in time for the parliamentary sitting today, it would be tabled later during this session of parliament.
Polye was last night in a meeting with his departmental head and secretary Simon Tosali, to finalise the budget to be presented to cabinet this morning.
“The 2012 budget will be an unprecedented historical budget. It will be a good budget,” he said.
Polye declined to give further details but said the 2012 budget should be one that balanced economic growth in all sectors for the socio-economic deve­lopment of the nation.
“It will be a budget that will encou­rage investments and promote human resource development. It will be a ba­lanced budget,” he said last night.
“Time is not on my side as the budget preparation process has not been completed. It is most likely that it will not be handed down by 2pm (today).”
There were also concerns last night over the availability of an opposition to respond to the budget.
“At the moment, we do not have lea­dership at the opposition level,” Polye said.
“It will present an unprecedented scenario of a national budget being handed down without an opposition response.”
National Planning and Monitoring Minister Sam Basil said: “Instead of forming an effective opposition and keeping the O’Neill-Namah government accountable and transparent, they are going around calling themselves ministers still,” referring to members of the former Somare-Abal government who were ousted from office on Aug 2.