by Delly Bagu – EM TV, Port Moresby
Papua New Guinea’s 2015 national budget has increased by 7 per cent.
The budget of K16.2 billion was described at the press lock-up as the ‘biggest’ the country ever had. Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele made this known to media and stakeholders at parliament house while presenting the 2015 budget strategy and framework.
Mr Vele said the budget will also comprise a deficit of K2.3 billion, or 4.4 per cent of GDP. It will also comprise a total public debt to GDP ratio of 28 per cent in 2015.
Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch also announced a 2014 supplementary budget of K879.3 million.
He said the supplementary budget was necessary to ensure the government’s priority areas are met. Mr Pruaitch said both the 2015 budget and the 2014 supplementary budget were fiscally responsible.
Again, education and health get the biggest allocations from the government’s purse. Education will be allocated K2.1 billion; an increase from last year’s K1.8 billion.
Health also gets an increase from K1.6 billion to K1.9 billion this year. Law and order has been allocated K1.5 billion – also an increase from 2014.
In 2013, the agriculture and economic sector got K836 million but this time around, the sector has been allocated less: K704 million. Mr Pruaitch explained that the 2014 supplementary budget caters mainly for the Pacific Games and the Lae and Port Moresby roads, as well as PNG Power.