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Port Moresby
February 28, 2021
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National Budget Forum

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It is predicted Papua New Guinearsquo;s recurrent budget for existing infrastructure development will continue to fall…worsening over time.

This is according tothe assessments done bythe Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre and National ResearchInstitute.

Major points were highlighted atthe ANU/NRI National Budget Forum in Port Moresby today.

More resources for priority areas particularly transport are a welcome development initiative, but frontline service delivery has taken a back seat to expand national and decentralised development spending.

Director for the Australian National University, Professor Stephen Howes says with fiscal constraints tightening, it needs to be given greater priority or front-line service delivery will suffer, causing fiscal risk to increase.

Stand-up:

His assessment ofthe national budget was reiterated by NRI Director Dr Thomas Webster.

The governmentohowever, is adamant it will deliver…taking into accountthe risk that comes withthe budget deficit.

Treasury Minister Don Polye was convincing in his presentation…complemented by his colleague, Finance Minister James Marape.

The 87% Growth in support of Sub-National Programs&hellipthe difference between this year’s to last year’s is evident by sheer difference of scale.

Minister Polye confirmedthere’s lack of capacity atthe provincial and more particularly district level…an area where development partners are sure to support. 

The economic outlook looks promising, despite a slowdown as a result ofthe winding down ofthe construction ofthe multibillion kina gas project. ANZ Bank predicts national growth will be 6%, and not 4% as estimated bythe government.

AndtheWorld Bank saysthe challenge of turningthe last days ofthe boom into lasting improverments in living standards will bring risks.

Festus Maiginap National EMTV News

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