GOVT PRESENTS CLOSE TO K2 BILLION SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET
By Mark Kayok – NBC News PNG
The National Government yesterday presented a supplementary budget of 1-point-8 billion Kina to Parliament.
The supplementary budget the first for Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey and the Marape-Steven Government since taking office in May, saw massive cuts in the capital investment and operation expenditures.
Minister Ling Stuckey said the cuts are aimed at assisting address the country’s massive debts.
He said the supplementary budget is the first step in prescribing the right treatment for the budget and the economy going forward.
Prime Minister James Marape, in lending his support to Treasurer Ian Ling Stuckey’s budget framework, said building on the budget framework for a better development strategy is crucial for the country.
Mr. Marape said the Supplementary Budget signifies a rescue and re-construction strategy that sets a more realistic and responsible fiscal pathway for the economy.
He said although there will be massive cuts, the decision is right for the country’s current economic crisis.
The Opposition has queried the national government’s Supplementary Budget, claiming it was framed without proper development policies.
Shadow Treasurer and Kandrian-Gloucester MP Joseph Lelang, questioned whether cuts in the budget would really help address the country’s massive debt of more than 11-billion Kina.
Mr. Lelang says the budget was framed using foreign interpretations without critical inputs from key institutions such as the Bank of Papua New Guinea, and other reputable organizations.