Category Archives: Budget

Tkatchenko Appointed Minister for APEC

By : Post Courier

 

Cabinet has appointed Moresby South MP, Justin Tkatchenko, as Minister Responsible for APEC as 2018 approaches.
The responsibility for APEC will be added to the Minister’s current portfolio of Lands and Physical Planning.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced this yesterday afternoon, saying that with less than two months remaining before the start of APEC 2018, it is timely for the Minister to resume the portfolio he held before the national elections.
“Minister Tkatchenko has substantial experience in the coordination of major events at the ministerial level,” Mr O’Neill said.
“As minister, he oversaw the successful delivery of the Pacific Games and the Pacific Islands Forum.
“Hosting APEC is of much greater magnitude, and Minister Tkatchenko is well placed to ensure the successful delivery of all of the components that must be delivered for APEC in the coming year.
“Over the past three years, Minister Tkatchenko has had a core role in planning for APEC 2018 in Papua New Guinea, and particularly as APEC Minister prior to the elections.”
Mr O’Neill said the start of the APEC year is only months away, and the government’s preparations continue to increase.
“Beginning with the Informal Senior Officials Meeting in December, the focus of APEC member economies and the regional business community will be on Papua New Guinea.
“Through the year we will hold a range of technical and ministerial meetings concluding with the APEC Leaders’ Summit in November 2018.
“In this time, there will be substantial attention on the delivery of major projects including the construction of APEC Haus, the Hilton Hotel and the renovation and upgrade of Morauta House and the National Convention Centre,” Mr O’Neill said.
“In the delivery phase of APEC, we will see the ongoing increase in personnel and the training regime for staff who are delivering APEC logistics, security and the policy agenda.
“Papua New Guinea will experience significant gains from hosting APEC, which will not only include the promotion of trade, investment and tourism, but in capacity strengthening in economic sectors.
“The APEC policy agenda and technical support covers a wide range of areas critical for development and the creation of more jobs.
“This includes agriculture, forestry, transportation, tourism and resources that are all essential for future economic growth in the country.”

Abel On US$100 Million

Source: Post Courier Online

BY GORETHY KENNETH

The Government is well advanced in implementing the 100 day, 25 point plan, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel said.

Abel, speaking from Washington D.C. where he is attending the Annual Board of Governors meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund has noted the 50 day mark of the 100 Day, 25 Point Plan as of the 13th of October 2017.

The Bank of PNG has made a US$100m intervention into the FOREX market and the Napanapa Refinery is purchasing 50% of its crude oil needs from Oil Search in Kina.

Separately the US$395m budget for the health sector and the US$1bn concessional loan for the Highlands Highway from the ADB is well progressed.”

“The Supplementary Budget has been passed and we are completing the 2018 Budget for the November parliamentary session,” said Abel

K3.1b Pay-Hike Bill Probed

By CLIFFORD FAIPARIK ( The National )

 

AN exercise is being carried out in government departments to find out why the total civil service salary bill swelled by K3.1 billion from K1.4 billion to K4.5 billion in four years.

Public Service Minister Elias Kapavore said a data-cleansing exercise which had begun should identify positions being duplicated.

The exercise involves the Personnel Management Department in consultation with the departments of Treasury and Finance to verify the huge annual increases to the public sector wage bill.

“The primary records show that the public sector wage bill in 2012 was K1.4 billion. This increased to K4.5 billion in 2016,” Kapavore said.

“While we need the increase in manpower to meet services demands, we must be accountable and prudent in controlling costs and achieving efficiencies.”

Kapavore said the data cleansing exercise would include national and provincial administrations “to establish a one-person, one-position, one-pay status for all public servants”.

“We will make it compulsory for all public servants to be registered through the national identification system,” he said.

“All organisations must improve their staff profiling system to put faces to the names of all public servants.”

Kapavore said he was seeking the cooperation of all sectors to support the government initiative “as we strive to improve productivity”.

Earlier, Kapavore said some public servants around the country were yet to be inducted in the public service system.

“That’s why they don’t know their job descriptions,” he said.

“There are many public servants not been inducted on their roles and responsibility.

“Induction programmes are so important. Once someone is recruited, they must be given their job description so that they will know what is required of them. They must also understand the General Orders and Parliament Acts.”

Government Starts Audit into Rental-Payment Arrangements

The National

AN audit into government departments to justify arrangements for rental payments  started this week,  Personnel Management Secretary John Kali says.

Kali told The National that he was preparing an information brief to present to Cabinet the details of where each government department was housed.

“We are carrying out physical inspections of the all buildings that house the government departments, including Sir Manasupe House and Morauta House,” he said.
“Once the physical inspection is completed, I will present to the Finance Department the leases indicating the agencies, the rented offices and the cost involved.

Cabinet had directed the audit following locking out of some government departments and agencies by landlords for the non-payment of rent, the latest being the Conservation Environment Protection Authority (yesterday) located at the bmobile Building in Waigani.

Treasurer Charles Abel said there was an under-budget on the rentals of about K178 million in the national budget.

Marape Confident in Govt’s Financial Management

By ISAAC NICHOLAS ( Post Courier )

Finance Minister James Marape has told Parliament of how the government’s public financial management reforms is gaining efficiency, transparency and accountability in the public sector accounting and budgeting.

In a statement to the House yesterday, Mr Marape said the reforms to the Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms which started three years ago is gaining momentum.

Minister Marape said so there the Finance Department is seeing unprecedented progress in achieving targets under the PEFA Road Map, particularly progress with roll-out of the Integrated Financial Management System (including strengthened budget management practices), issuing of Public Accounts Reports, and the successful legislative amendment of the Public Finances (Management) Act (PFMA) to modernise and harness best business practice.

“I will not pretend for a moment that there are not many challenges that continue to lie ahead and that much remains to be done. I acknowledge those challenges but have every reason to feel confident that the experience of the last three years sees us very well placed to continue to maintain the pace of PFM reform in this country.”

Marape said the strengthening of the PFM has seen improvements in delivering on grass roots development objectives to the people through a more streamlined and effective delivery of programs and services nationally, to the provinces, to the districts and to local level government.

“PFM reform momentum is high, achievements to date are real and significant, cooperation and collaboration between Government departments on the one hand, and between national and provincial interests on the other in the common cause of advancing the quality of PFM in this country is at an unprecedented level. There is much to be positive about.” Marape said

However, the Finance Minister admitted that the reforms has not been a positive story given the poor state of public financial management in PNG over many years and only in 2014, the Government decided to take a whole-of-government approach to address the parlous state of public financial management in PNG.

PM APPLAUDS ABEL FOR BUDGET

BY : Post Courier

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has commended his deputy and Treasurer Charles Abel for successfully handing down the 2017 Supplementary Budget in Parliament yesterday.

“I commend the Treasurer as this is his first budget/money plan. There are now some renewed sense of energy in Treasury and of course as a result of that you can see some real drive into outstanding issues like over expenditure by public servants. The Treasurer is definitely getting things back on track.”

Mr O’Neill said that development is taking place across the country in the areas of infrastructure, health and education. “This is only the beginning and we will make sure we deliver before this term expires,” he said.

“You see, when we came into office in 2012, we built major infrastructure that you see now,” he said.

“If we did not build these infrastructure, the recession will be far worse than today.”

Mr O’Neill said the National Alliance-led government was in control for 15 years and they handed out about seven supplementary budgets when they had surplus, but never built any infrastructure.

“To date, they still can’t name an infrastructure they built, and they left no money in the Trust Account,” he said. “Treasury is the engine room, the heart that controls the body, and you should be very careful.

“It is a fact, that we are all responsible to correct the position when they are course blow outs, to correct it so we set new targets and that is 2.5 per cent of GDP,” Mr O’Neill said.

2017 Supplementary Budget Top Agenda

By : Post Courier

The 2017 Supplementary Budget tops the government agenda when Parliament resumes at 2 o’clock this afternoon.

Deputy Prime Minister, Charles Abel, is expected to hand down the mini budget during this session.

Leader of Government Business, James Marape, could not be reached for comments, but the government has indicated bringing in the Independent Commission Against Corruption Bill (ICAC) to at least test the numbers in this session.

The government is also expected to bring through legislations including the National Energy Authority Bill, for the creation of the similar entity like the Mineral Resource Authority, to aggressively drive LNG projects.

The House will start with Ministers giving their statements and entertain questions without notice.

The tabling of the 2017 Supplementary Budget is point 1 in the 25-point 100-day plan of the O’Neill Government.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, said cabinet had decided to support a supplementary budget to maintain the parametres of the 2017 Budget proper.

Mr O’Neill said after a period of sustained high economic growth spurred by the PNG LNG Project construction phase and sustained increases in government spending, circumstances such as the collapse of the price of oil and the El Nino drought, and a slowdown in global growth had dampened economic growth.

He said the mid-year economic fiscal outlook report from Treasury has highlighted these emerging issues with a downturn in government revenues as well as an increase in public service wages, interest costs and rentals, and the rationing of foreign currency.

He said the supplementary budget maintains a 2.5 percent budget deficit and 32 percent debt to GDP ratio in the 2017 Budget proper by deferral in the Service Improvement Program and cuts to the capital and recurrent budgets.

“The SIPs (DSIP/PSIP) are a very important pillar to our government, however, the cabinet has recognised the need for discipline during tough times. The deferral to SIPs will be replaced in subsequent budgets,” Mr O’Neill said.

He said the Supplementary Budget will also boost medicine procurement, coffee berry borer response and more funds to the Department of Works.

He said a range of other measures are also brought to support and give direction around the 100-day, 25-point plan.

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