Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has assured the nation that Treasurer Hon. Ian Ling-Stuckey will deliver the nation’s 2022 Budget tomorrow amidst many political speculations.
“I want to assure Papua New Guinea that your Government is at work, despite many challenges and obstacles, and we will deliver our third Budget tomorrow,” he said.
“The handing down of the Budget is the single most-important parliamentary occasion of any government.
“With hangovers and effects of slowed economy due to COVID-19, your Government has used the last three years of National Budget to ensure our domestic economy was functional and alive, and our crucial services were maintained.”
“I want to assure our people and all stakeholders in our economy that we are responsible and prudent to ensure expected outcomes of our budget are achieved.”
PM Marape said Treasurer Ling-Stuckey would tomorrow “point that our path to economic recovery is correct, and with critical analysis by all multilateral Budget partners like ADB, IMF and World Bank, our positive trajectories show an increase in Gross Domestic Product for next year and beyond as well as a declining budget deficit trend”.
“Over the last two-and-a-half years, we have invoked the use of our money plan to ensure schools, hospitals, COVID-19 programmes, road construction, SME funds, retiring old debts and contractual obligations, paying outstanding industrial awards, etc, were our deliberate interventions to keep our economy functioning despite tough times,” he said.
“Our 2022 money plan will not have much surprises, except some key Government policy-based interventions that will be evident in both revenue and expenditure allocations, as Treasurer hands down the Budget tomorrow.
“We are trying our best to ensure our Budget embraces our national outcomes including opening up all parts of our country, intervening in sustainable economy, starting up Porgera, Papua LNG, Wafi-Golpu for our economy, paying for our children’s education in 2022 and beyond, building new hospitals, ramping up support to Bougainville, clearing up projects like new Supreme Court Building and ensuring the 2022 General Election is fully funded without disturbance.
“All the above we are doing whilst maintaining strict discipline in sticking to our money plan, with our development partners observing our discipline to reforms.
“Key is our reforms is to borrow low-cost US dollar denominated borrowings like the Australian $400-million dollar zero per cent interest lending, or the Japanese Government US$280million 0.01 per cent five-year grace period lending, which all came directly into our economy by way of Budget support.
“I just want to assure our people and our economic stake holders that we are going through tough times, but we will use the Budget policies wisely to share the load of burden and also ensure key infrastructure like the 1900 kilometres of road we built the last two years all over rural PNG is continued.
“And tomorrow, for the first time also, our Treasurer will put out a plan to bring our nation to surplus Budget by 2027 and reduce our national debt completely by mid 2030s.
“I am very optimistic because these tough times have taught us to be prudent and economically strong as we work forward into 2022 and beyond.
“Don’t believe the naysayers, be optimistic where ever you all are, be like the 360 small SMEs who borrowed cheaply from Bank South Pacific that Government has partnered with for SME lending and help your country.”