Row over budget

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DEBATE on the 2019 Supplementary Budget has started even before is it tabled by Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey in Parliament, with Opposition MPs calling the figures “misleading”.
Prime Minister James Marape is confident Ling-Stuckey will provide the correct “economic numbers” for the 2019 Supplementary Budget and the 2020 Budget, based on areas the Government team has been working on with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Treasury, the World Bank and others.
“What the Treasurer is doing is to fully ascertain our present economic conditions for us to offer solutions to take our country out of the present (economic) conditions,” Marape said.
“When I was finance minister, I was part of the government that deliberately entered into debt financing so we could do economic projects.
“But along the way, the areas of investments influenced by the then prime minister (Peter O’Neill) differed against some of our opinions.
“And these investments now add up to our present debts.
“Whether it is at K27 billion or above K30 billion, the fact is that it is still very high and possibly above requirements of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.”
Marape said his Government wants to establish where the true economic position of the country was and put forward policies and programmes in 2019 and 2020 “that should take us out of this mess”.
Opposition Leader Belden Namah and Shadow Treasurer Joseph Lelang refuted, saying the figures provided by Ling-Stuckey were “influenced by foreign due diligence group” and therefore unrealistic.
They allege that it “is a dangerous trend and a threat to national sovereignty” if “foreigners” are allowed to influence the 2019 Supplementary Budget and the 2020 National Budget.
Lelang doubted that the Budget, as claimed by Ling-Stuckey, was being assessed and verified by the IMF.
He said the IMF only provided surveillance and based their report on figures provided by the due diligence team.
Lelang cautioned Ling-Stuckey “not to mislead the nation” because the purpose of the IMF’s mission to PNG is to do surveillance of its policy and economy”.
He said the IMF reported a K2.7 billion blow out which was based on the figures provided to them by the Treasurer and his team.
Meanwhile, Marape said one of the reasons he had resigned from the O’Neill-led Cabinet was because his “protests” against budget policies, expenditure priorities were not acknowledged.
“The latest was my protest last November when I had no knowledge of budget frameworks, yet I was forced to support that budget,” he said.
But he said now was not the time to continue the “blame game” but to accept the state of the national economy and work to “rescue” it.
“Our Government will initiate immediate cost cutting on projects and expenditures of no significance to the economy, invest in economic stimulant projects, and source lower cost loans in the immediate to refinance our debts as well as provide budget support,” he said.

15 comments

  • It’s a good move the government is doing to present the real facts of the current economic situation, seek international advice to find strategic solutions to restructure and build the economy…

  • THAT’S THE WAY FORWARD JOB WELL DONE PRIME MINISTERS TEAM. PNG WANT FACTS NOT LIES AND SHADOWS OR FAKE FIGURES.

  • You will save a lot of money internally or development projects implemented if National Government gets hard on the Provincial Government, the Districts and LLGs including other statutory agencies and Department in terms of good governance practices and effective monitoring procedures

  • Cutting expenditure is vital for the government to aid the nation out of the current economic mess. However understand the opposition team for their views.

  • PMJM is giving us Hope in taking back our economy. Diagnostic of the economy has been done and by now we should collaborate including both opposition and govt to find solution to take back the economy. The blame game will not take us anyway, but only destroy our country. We are now at a critical time, when our economy is terribly down and need both heads of the opposition and govt to save our country.

  • I am not in favour of anyone (politicians) however, your strategies wayforward to bring back the economic status for the country are acknowledged but how long it will take to bring back our economic status is still a question the people need to know. The last government has made significant and visible developments changes in the country while the people do not know the differences between politicians. PNG is a very small country very rich in resources. We have to blame ourselves at all levels of government, the national level, provincial level and local level. A way forward Mr PMJM, screen and tough penalties for fake claims and reports at these level of government.

  • Can the oposition leave PM James Marape alone to do his part instead of jumping into conclusion at a very early stage few months away that he actually didn’t very much.
    PNGans are like yoyos making unnecessary remarks without using God Given Wisdom and instincts to decide for the best our country.
    Prime Minister James Marape I personally salute you for the fantastic you are doing, keep it up.

  • Our Country PNG
    We are a leading global resources company. JM purpose is to bring people and resources together to build a better world.
    Operating PNG with integrity
    Wherever JM government is trying to operate the way he wants to operate PNG, we strive to work with integrity – doing what is right and doing what he say we will do.
    Work with us
    operations please be part of an inclusive and diverse team that embraces openness and trust, values relationships that are mutually beneficial and respects the Nations and environment.

    • Our Country PNG
      We are a leading global resources . JM purpose is to bring people and resources together to build a better world.
      Operating PNG with integrity
      Wherever JM government is trying to operate the way he wants to operate PNG, we strive to work with integrity – doing what is right and doing what he say we will do.
      Work with us
      Opposition, please be part of an inclusive and diverse team that embraces openness and trust, values relationships that are mutually beneficial and respects the Nations and environment.

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