Ngangan: Govt 2017 accounts now open

THE Government accounts are now open for the 2017 financial year. Secretary for Finance, Dr Ken Ngangan, announced the opening of the 2017 accounts to allow for the early and expeditious funding of the Government’s priority areas.

He said the Government accounts were opened on Tuesday, January 10, following the successful roll-over of the 2016 accounts on Monday night.

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“Today we are into the 2017 accounts,” Dr Ngangan declared, saying that the Department of Treasury would now immediately prepare and issue cash warrants to departments and agencies. These include the special law and order operations in the Hela Province, the funding of universities, preparation and payment of Tuition Fee-Free education and for health services.

He said that while these were the immediate funding demands on the Government, general budgetary expenditure would be dictated by the cash-flow situation which he said had not changed much from last year’s difficulties.

But, he added, there were now signs of improvements in the economy with the pick-up of export commodity prices such as for oil and gas and agricultural products. “As we move into the new financial year, we must be mindful of carry-overs from 2016.

Added to the priority areas of 2017, it now requires careful and stringent management of public accounts to take us through the year,” Dr Ngangan said. “We’ve done it in the past and we are confident of managing well and catering for Government priorities. “

We also hope that the revenue-generating agencies like Internal Revenue Commission and PNG Customs work hard and rein in outstanding revenues and also start collecting projected 2017 revenues. “These agencies have been appropriately resourced and should put these to good use to raise the expected revenue for Government.”

He said that as this was an election year the Electoral Commission should be fully supported and resourced to manage the election better for a safe, free and fair election. “We call on the public to bear with us as they have been doing in the past, and we certainly hope that some light will begin to shine at the end.

“Patience is what we ask for because all of us are in it together, and we will come out stronger together. “The fundamentals of the economy are stronger and in better shape, commodity prices are on the rebound and improving, and there is consistency and stability in the political arena to position PNG to maximize on the gains that will accrue to us in the years ahead.”

Dr Ngangan urged public servants to continue to be loyal and to be committed in their duties and responsibilities to provide strong support for their respective departments and agencies.

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