Tiensten: It is a balanced development budget

National, Normal

THE government yesterday handed down a record K4.04 billion development budget reflecting the priorities set out in the medium-term development plan (MTDP).
This surpassed the K3.39 billion for this year and  K2.5 billion for last year.
Total PNG government development expenditure component for next year is K2.5 billion, comprising K2.1 billion in domestic funds, K388.4 million in concessional loans and K60 million in infrastructure tax credit.
Speaking at the budget lock-up yesterday, Planning Minister Paul Tiensten said: “Again, it is a balanced budget reinforcing this government’s commitment to deliver responsible fiscal and strong economic performance conducive for growth.
“The record 2011 development budget will continue to target high quality investment in areas critical to PNG’s economic growth and sustainable development, and will build the foundation for prosperity ensuring a bright future for the young generation,” he said.
Tiensten said priority had been given to funding MTDP enablers, including the following programmes:
*Land (K102.5 million);
*Law and justice sector (K62 million);
*Transport (K500.8 million);
*Higher and technical education (K154.7 million);
*Primary and secondary education (K220.9 million);
*Utilities (K191.6 million);
*Primary and preventive health (K186.3 million);
*PNG LNG project UMBSA commitment (K220 million);
*National agriculture development programme (K109 million); and
*Other major commitments and initiatives (K318.8 million).
For other commitments’ appropriation, major items in the development budget included K109 million for loan counterpart funding, K66.8 million for special support grants, K66 million for next year’s national census and K54.5 million for the district services grants.