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.