Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Budget set for Tuesday

Source: Post Courier, November 16, 2011
THE 2012 Budget to be handed down next Tuesday in Parliament will strike a balance between three major pulling forces affecting the national economy.
This is the commitment of Finance and Treasury Minister Don Polye who yesterday said the balance would ease pressure between uncertainty on the world market, inflation and both urgent and critical development expenditure.
“It will be a balanced budget, focused on delivering the Government’s commitments to increasing funding for key Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) enablers such as education, health, infrastructure, land and law and justice, and ensuring that all public monies are spent well,” Mr Polye said.
Mr Polye said he had given indications of the 2012 budget scenario in an address to the business community at the end of September, emphasising PNG’s commitment to directly dealing with the economic challenges confronting the country.
“You are the key to generating jobs and opportunities for the people of PNG and our Government looks forward to working closely with you,” Mr Polye said.
Mr Polye said this when explaining the Government’s position in relation to handing down its 2012 budget following a media article claiming lack of information on its next strategy.
Mr Polye said the 2012 budget strategy was easily accessible on the department’s web site.
He said it would be framed to meet the social aspirations of the people in a responsible manner, sharing wealth and empowering the people.
He said key policies such as funding tuition, free education, increased support for small and medium enterprises and maintenance of key transport infrastructure such as Highlands highway and major sea ports were Government priority.
He said the 2012 general elections would also be funded.
“The Government will meet these commitments while maintaining a balanced budget,” he emphasised.
He said the Government would also initiate critical improvements in public finance management, better integration of the recurrent and development budget, medium term planning, focusing on development priorities as outlined in the MTDP (2011-2015), and reintroduce project cycle.
”The Government will continue with key public sector reforms to improve efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery by investing in agencies which are delivering outcomes and benefits, and consolidate and avoid duplication of function to reduce wastage,” he said.
“The Government will also focus on renewing budget discipline where only fully costed, developed proposal will be considered.”
Mr Polye warned of inflation which was currently at 8.4 per cent.
He added that “without a balanced budget inflation was likely to increase sparking increases in interest rates and cuts in the availability of credits for families and businesses in PNG.”

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