Monthly Archives: November 2017

Government taken measures to manage wild spendings by SOE’s

November 30, 2017

By ISAAC NICHOLAS

The Government has taken steps to centralise the budgetary process by cracking down on some public and statutory bodies collecting public monies and spend these outside of the Budget.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Treasury and Finance Charles Abel said the Government is serious about improving the fiscal health of the country and this bill is a demonstration of that serious intent.

“Public funds that are raised by public and statutory bodies as non-tax revenue rightly belong in the Consolidated Revenue Fund so that they may be appropriated for expenditure by Parliament to meet the objectives of the Government.”

Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch interjected claiming that the bill is part of the budget bills and in normal tradition this bill must be passed along with the budget.

“Why are we dealing with Budget Bills separately when the debate on the budget has been adjourned to next week Tuesday? Can we stop sneaking in stuff? We need to be able to understand the bills and it is part of the budget papers. It is attached to the budget bills.”

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had to intervene to allow Mr Abel to introduce the bill, make his speech and defer the passing to Tuesday next week.

Minister Abel then proceeded saying that for too long, it has been the practice of some public and statutory bodies to retain, without authority, this non tax revenue to meet operational and other expenditures.

“These expenditures have taken place outside the budget process and this is unacceptable to government. Some, but not all, public and statutory do have legislation in place that purportedly allows them to retain this non-profit revenue, but those provisions have always offended against the best principles of public financial management and this Bill remedies those matters.

The Bill binds all public and statutory bodies. State owned Enterprises are excluded as they are not statutory bodies.

The Bill does not apply to the Bougainville or any public or statutory body created by the Bougainville Government.

The Government has decided to explicitly exempt Kumul Consolidated Holdings, Kumul Petroleum Company and the Kumul Minerals Company from this law as fiscal arrangements to them are currently being reviewed.

Govt cracks down on out of budget spending by SOEs

Tax Revenue to reach K3.2 Billion in 2018

BY GORETHY KENNETH

The new revenue strategy, major tax head contributions to revenue are expected to increase above 2017 levels with personal income tax collections expected to reach K3.2 billion in 2018.

It is expected that company tax will reach K1.9 billion; mining and petroleum tax K179 million, gaming machine tax K174.4 million; dividend withholding tax K137.4 million and interest withholding tax K84.2 million.

For the indirect taxes, GST is expected to reach K1.9 billion, excise cuty K782.3 million, import excise K395.1 million, export tax K330 million and import duties K296.1 million.

Non-tax revenues are expected to be substantially higher comprising fees and charges which are expected to reach K175.2 million. Dividends from state owned enterprises and mining and petroleum projects which are expected to reach K1.3 billion.

The dividends are expected from National Fisheries Authority K400 million, Kumul Petroleum Holding Limited K300 million, Ok Tedi K200 million, Bank of PNG K150 million, Kumul Consolidated Holdings K100 million, National Gaming Control Board K75 million and Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited K25 million.

In addition to this, the newly introduced 90:10 Statutory Transfer rule will generate an additional K565 million comprising one off receipts from the National Fisheries Authority of K400 million, National Gaming Control Board K75 million, Kumul Consolidated Holding K40 million, Mineral Resource Authority K30 million, National Maritime Safety Authority K10 million and the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority K10 million

Grants from donor agencies are expected to total K1024.6 million in 2018. Donor grants are subjected to movements in the exchange rates and policies of donors.

Revenue excluding grants as a percentage of GDP has declined over the years from around 20 per cent in 2012 to 13 per cent in 2017.

The 2018 Total Revenue and Grants Budget is projected at K12,730.7 million, an increase of K1751.5 million or 16.0 per cent, compared to the 2017 Supplementary Budget estimates. A number of the revenue increases are one off in nature and these will be utilised to fund adjustment costs such as clearing outstanding arrears and funding one-off expenditure categories such as APEC.


https://postcourier.com.pg/revenue-tax-expected-reach-k3-2-bil-2018/

K14 Billion for 2018

By : Post Courier

This Government will mobilise necessary resources within the tight fiscal envelope to provide growth conditions to set the pace for future growth and development.

The 2018 Capital investment Budget consolidate key interventions that will encourage business activities, generate employment, increase both export and tax revenues, replace import, and broaden and diversify our economic base strengthening renewable sectors and manufacturing.

A total deficit figure of K1987.2 million has also been factored in, which will be financed through external sources comprising K1613.4 million and K375.8 million from domestic sources.

The financing requirement for 2018 will result in total government debt reaching K25,807.6 million by the end of 2018, equivalent to 32.2 percent of GDP.

There are no new surprises in the 2018 Budget as the government introduces taxation measures aimed at improving revenue collection through greater compliance, broadening the tax base more equitably and efficiently and making tax administration simpler and more effective.

Mr Abel, in handing the 2018 Budget in Parliament, themed “Review our priorities, refocus our energies and reinforce our strengths”, said the government will maintain key priority expenditures in education, health, infrastructure, law and order, agriculture, tourism and small and medium enterprises.

The government has restored the DSIP, PSIP and WSIP in 2018 with K10 million to each district totalling K880 million and provinces to receive K10 million each totalling K220 million and ward SIPs get K64.4 million.

It has also allocated K300 million for administrative and logistics preparation for the APEC meeting next year.

The budget for the first time has given a big boost with the introduction of an economic stimulus package that will cost K665.9 million to grow the economy through agriculture, tourism and SMEs.

Mr Abel said the government is committed to delivering the Alotau Accord 2, as started in the 100-Day Plan, and the 2018 Budget is the second component that should spur economic growth, generate jobs, and empower people through meaningful engagement in economic activities to better themselves.

“The government will continue to invest in key national infrastructure programs in 2018, particularly the Highlands Highway, coastal jetties, the missing link road program, hydro and gas power generation stations and the international submarine cable project,” he said.

He said these are important transformational projects that will reduce costs in doing business, improve market access for rural farmers, and improve and lower cost of communications for businesses and consumers.

“The 2018 Budget will shift focus to generating jobs and business opportunities for our people in agriculture, tourism and SMEs. And it will provide the platform to showcase the best of PNG to the world at the upcoming APEC Summit,” Mr Abel said.

Budget Hope

The National

 

THE Government is viewing the future with optimism and confidence as it tables the 2018 national budget in Parliament today on the back of an “improving global economy”, with commodity prices returning to “healthier” levels.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, however, warned that while pressure on the economy from global factors is easing, the government would continue to ensure fiscal discipline is maintained.  “There is no doubt that we are seeing improvements in the global economy, and this is reflected in positive indicators in our own economy,” he said.

“Commodity prices are returning to healthier levels but there is still a long way to go before we can relax.

“When global conditions were at their lowest, our government managed the challenges we faced and this has placed us in a stronger position today.

“We continued to maintain positive economic growth through a programme of reducing spending, managing expenses and rescheduling some infrastructure construction.”

Treasurer Charles Abel will table the national financial plan this afternoon.

Debate on it will be suspended until Tuesday next week to allow the Opposition time to respond to it. O’Neill said the government was looking forward to a sensible debate on the budget “that is based on fact and not misinformation”.

He said there would be no cuts to education and healthcare, “our core national priorities”.

He also promised “a productive and safe Apec summit in 2018 through modest expenditure that builds capacity and leaves legacy in our government agencies”.

“Our Government will also continue to build more efficient public services that are increasingly capable while being less expensive to operate,” he said.

Shadow Treasury and Finance Minister Ian Ling-Stuckey said the Opposition was ready to debate the 12-month financial plan from the government.

“Last year, the Government did not allow a proper debate on the 2017 budget. We stand ready to judge the success of the 2018 budget and urge government to give the Opposition an opportunity to measure its merits,” he said.

He said they would judge the budget on its credibility, how the government planned to spend public money, how it addressed foreign exchange and jobs, how it dealt with deficits and debt financing, and whether it followed proper processes.

Funds on hold as Finance calls for acquittals first Minister

The National

Finance Minister James Marape told the Parliament that district services grants for 2017 have not been released and Finance and Treasury are yet to discuss the outcome.

In response to questions by Sumkar MP Chris Nangoi, Marape said the grants were constitutional and every district was entitled to it but the department required acquittals to receive the funds.

“We have not released the 2017 DSG so I will take this up with Treasury and negotiate for the funds to be released,” he said.

“District services grants is a constitutional grant, every district is entitled to it but we require acquittals from all districts.

“I have issued instructions to waver acquittal requirements for MPs who just entered parliament in the 2017 elections.
“You will work backwards as you get your funds for this year.
You will use and acquit for it.

“For those who are continuing members of parliament who served the district in the last term – we require your acquittals of the 2016 use of funds.
Then you can have a drawdown of 2017 funds.

In response to Markham MP Koni Iguan on the two components of the grants, non-digressional and digressional, Marape said he would factor those considerations in getting the departments concerned to look into the matter and report back to parliament.

New Bill Geared To Give Leadership A Big Push

By : The National

 

PARLIAMENT yesterday unanimously passed a bill to establish the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance.

Public Service Minister Elias Kapavore said the PNG Institute of Public Administration would now become the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance.

Kapavore said the transformation would raise the performance of public servants and also focus on gender equity.

Kapavore said it would bring greater training and capacity building to serve people in the provinces and districts.

“It will contribute hugely to the upgrading and integrity of our public service institutions with ethics and values enshrined in our constitution which will improve service delivery to our people,” he said.

“The PNGIPA is central to the modernisation of our institutions and lifts the capability of our public servants.

“Accordingly, this institution is to be renamed, restructured and repositioned to become the modern independent statutory authority. The creation of the modern institute highlights the important work that this government in partnership with Australia has undertaking to establish a Pacific leaders and governance precinct.

“The precinct has a design to strengthen pubic service and leadership ethical behaviour governance and core capabilities at the national provincial and district levels.

This modern institution will play an important role in the development and function of the priciest particularly mainstreaming ethical leadership values throughout the public sector.”

Parliament Debates Missing Taxes

BY JEFFREY ELAPA

The country has been missing a lot in taxes and benefits from the logging operations in the country, the National Parliament was told this week.

Members of Parliament and governors whose provinces have existing logging activities raised concerns that the people have been missing a lot from the logging operations as companies continue to evade logging taxes and other rightful benefits to the people and government.

Oro Governor Garry Juffa said many of the companies are operating criminally and often avoid paying taxes.

He said as former boss of Customs he has evidence of some of those companies who continue to evade paying taxes while many others continue to abuse the landowners using state agencies like police.

“When we entered into the look north policy, the country invited alot of people some of whom are genuine logging companies while others are not genuine but operated by criminals. Some of them manipulate the public service and political landscape,” Mr Juffa said.

“As an independent nation, we must not allow criminal companies to enter and destroy our people and our resources.”

Mr Juffa said the practice of paying royalties is something of the past, it is a colonial and outdated rule and practice and that must stop and look at make good laws through the proposed review to monitor the conduct and practice of the logging companies.

He said the provincial forest board has colluded with officers from the National Forest Authority to issue licenses to many of these rogue companies.

He said another development is good there must be a balance so that there is maximum benefit for our people.
Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta said it is high time all the agreements and law needs to be reviewed.

He said the provincial governments and landowners from timber concessional areas to be included as impacted provinces have bad experiences from logging operations in the country.

He said half of Gulf Province is engaged in logging but the benefits are minimal while many of the companies are operating illegal although their logging permits have expired some 6 years ago.

Among other issues, Mr Haiveta said in his province the log development levies have either been used to fund election while the landowners have missed out on such benefits.
He proposed other option in the review, an one of them is to consider state market option, domestic market obligation as in mining companies to be introduced.

Mr Haiveta said other option to be considered in the review must be include mandatory equity participation and review vehicle registration exemption given to the logging companies by the Department of Transport.

« Older Entries