Category Archives: Budget

Cost of rice will not increase: Trukai

Source: Loop PNG

 

PNG’s leading rice supplier, Trukai Industries, says it will not increase the cost of rice in the country.

 

Trukai Industries CEO, Greg Worthington-Eyre, said while Trukai understands and is deeply concerned over the current economic conditions in PNG, and the pending inflationary impact of fuel price increases, currency devaluation and reduced consumer spending power, it has no plans at this point of passing on the impact of these issues to PNG consumers.

 

Worthington-Eyre says Trukai’s focus on food security, which includes affordability and quality, is at the forefront and they will be making every effort to support the people of PNG.

 

Trukai is the oldest and largest rice distribution and manufacturer in PNG, having been established in February 17th, 1970.

 

Apart from rice, they also supply stockfeed.

Author: Charmaine Poriambep

The Govt’s 100 Day Plan Expires Tomorrow(19th December 2017)

 


BY GORETHY KENNETH

The Government’s 100 days 25 Point Plan expires tomorrow (Tuesday) with most of the proposed projects proactively undertaken, Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel have said.

 

And in light of prevailing circumstances the 100 days 25 Point Plan was and is intended to demonstrate proactively and inspire confidence and kick-start the Alotau Accord II by undertaking specific activities around.

 

“Not so long ago I stood here and delivered the 2017 Supplementary Budget that was Point 1 in the 25 Point 100 Day Plan to kick-start the Alotau Accord ll of this coalition government.

 

“The 2018 Budget our first substantive annual budget, is Point 2 of the 100 Day Plan, and will be another illustration of our intention to deliver on our promise to maintain fiscal discipline, grow our revenues, strengthen our economic base, improve governance and act strategically,” Mr Abel said.

 

“Our Government has taken stock following the national elections through a consultative process of engagement with stakeholders from Government, the private sector, development partners and community-based organisations.

 

“This has been important in helping guide our interventions, and in the spirit of partnership we will continue this open engagement.”

 

“These activities obviously roll into Points 1 and 2 of the 25 Point Plan which are the 2017 Supplementary and 2018 Budgets.

 

“The intention in Points 1 and 2 was to maintain fiscal discipline in the light of the prevailing difficult circumstances in terms of our budget parameters of a 2.5% fiscal deficit and debt to GDP of 30% so as not to put more stress on government financing and the economy.

 

“A number of measures were undertaken to maintain this discipline but primarily as per Point 4, and thanks to the understanding of Honourable Members of this Parliament, the Service Improvement Program was reduced in 2017,” he said.

 

Here’s how the 25-Point Plan was carried out and is being implemented now:

 

Point 3 was related to payroll strengthening and the OSPEAC (Organisation Staffing and Personnel Emoluments Committee) has been reactivated and is progressing a payroll audit and cleansing exercise and the MD registration requirement as explained by the Minister for Public Service in Parliament. This is in response to the primary cost escalation factor of Government which is the unsustainable growth in personnel emoluments.

 

Point 5 was for:

 

i) The drawdown of the balance of the Credit Suisse loan of which two technical requirements will have been met following this budget session enabling the final balance to be drawn.

 

ii) To access World Bank and ADB budget support funding for the 2018 budget. This has been achieved following my trip to Washington where the World Bank provides US$100m for debt restructuring in 2018 and another $100m in both 2019 and 2020. The A08 is also providing budget support commencing in 2018 for the health sector of up to US$300m commencing in 2018. These measures provide financial resources on good terms and bring in foreign exchange.

 

Point 6 was for:

 

i) Oil Search to provide a minimum of 50% of the crude oil needs to the Napanapa Refinery and in Kina terms. This has been achieved through an agreement and is happening.

 

ii) Transition to gas-powered electricity the Pom Gas 58MW electricity project has been approved by Cabinet and has commenced construction to provide the cheapest in country power source using our own gas and all sales denominated in Kina. The new power plant will be owned by Oil Search and Kumul Petroleum with shares to be taken up by MRDC. The availability of domestic gas can catalyse other gas-powered initiatives.

 

iii) Rice production the rice quota scheme has been delayed and 3 large scale rice projects are being developed with 3 separate private sector partners with potential support in the 2018 budget through the Agriculture Commercialization Fund.

 

iv) The Bank of Papua New Guinea intervention into the forex market with US$100m is done. The BPNG is also conducting a review of all foreign currency accounts and the obligations of those account holders, particularly resource companies to remit excess funds back to PNG.

 

Point 7 for non-tax revenue collecting agencies to remit 90% of their revenues to CRF has commenced with some immediate action with specific agencies and will be reinforced by the Public Money Management Regularization Bill 2017 approved by Cabinet and to be tabled in conjunction with this Budget.

 

Points 8 and 10 relate to tax regime reform and this is being managed through the new Medium Term Revenue Strategy, developed in conjunction with the IMF and a new Tax Administration Bill which I will bring shortly. Measures will commence in this budget to tidy up the tax code and the BPNG, lRC, IPA and commercial banks are cooperating to enforce compulsory Tax Identification Number requirement for opening bank accounts. The commercial banks have agreed to provide information to the lRC regarding bank accounts being operated in a business manner for further scrutiny.

 

Significant funding support is provided in the 2018 budget for both the IRC and Customs to boost capacity against quantified additional revenue collection.

 

Point 9 was the establishment of the task forces for the IRC, Lands and the Customs and Illicit Trade. Funding has been provided in the Supplementary Budget and the Attorney General, Labour and immigration Ministers are leading the Customs and illicit Trade, Lands Minister the Lands task force and Treasurer the IRC task force.

 

Point 11 is for the progress of some significant resource development projects and; Wapi Golpu, PNG LNG expansion, Papua LNG is all on track for early works, pre FEED or FEED in 2018. Western LNG has announced pre FEED works last month.

 

Point 12 is for the launch of the new Australian DFAT grant-funded projects; the PNG Australia Economic and Social infrastructure Program and ANGAU Hospital re-development design are still pending, and the TB Project co-funded with the World Bank has had the financing documents executed already.

 

Point 13 is the power projects;

 

i) the 58 MW Pom Gas project construction has begun.

 

ii) the 30MW PNG Biomass Project in Markham with Oil Search is in progress.

 

iii) the Ramu 2 180MW Project has had commercial close via a Cabinet decision but is pending financial close due to certain conditions precedent.

 

iv) Naoro Brown River Hydro Project is progressing with funding from the World Bank.

 

v) Hela Gas power solution is being negotiated with Exxon Mobil and Oil Search.  In the meantime, funding is provided in this budget to pull the power “”9 from Mendi to Hides to provide the missing power and NBN telecommunications link to access power to the communities from the Ramu Grid and surplus from the Tari existing generator.

 

Point 14 is certain high impact projects:

 

i) the international submarine cable that the Australian Government has now offered to fund from Sydney to Port Moresby and Port Moresby to Honiara. PNG will own these 100% and 50% respectively and will substantially increase reliability and lower the cost of data into PNG some 25 times.  In the Pacific Marine, Industrial Project has had a new financing agreement sign with the China EXIM Bank, the Sepik Plains agriculture project, together with Baiyer Valley and the Centre.

 

Plains are identified for large-scale rice production as described earlier.

 

Point 15 is the commencement of the US$1 billion upgrade of the Highlands Highway of which the Project Management Unit has been established at Works and contracts have been advertised for supervisory contractors. Work will commence in 2018.

 

Point 16 is the Gerehu 38 Affordable Housing Pilot Project where 1,762 allotments are being made available free to qualifying citizens. The earthworks have been completed and power and water services are now being constructed. Together with the concessional funding at BSP this will make housing accessible to ordinary Papua New Guineans and drive construction and employment. It can provide an example to duplicate in other centres.

 

Point 17 is for the commencement of the new Enga Provincial Hospital construction and Mount Hagen Hospital PPP redevelopment plan in 2018.

 

Point 18 is for the ceasing of closed tender financing which Cabinet has approved and the bringing forward the National Procurement Authority Bill which is ready to come back to Cabinet after changes were requested by Cabinet.

 

Point 19 requires audited accounts for SOEs and Statutory Authorities by mid-2018.

 

As Treasurer I will be tabling all the reports for the Agencies under my responsibility as soon as they are cleared by Cabinet.

 

Point 20 is to have all prescribed Boards appointed. This is underway particularly under the State Enterprises Minister and the Agriculture Minister.

 

Point 21 refers to freeing up resource landowner benefits;

 

i) the PNG LNG landowners vetting issues are ongoing but royalty payments to the plant site landowners have commenced and it is anticipated to shortly resolve the pipeline first payments and progress to the conclusion the clan vetting at the gas fields.

 

ii) the OK Tedi landowner CMCA and Non-CMCA have funds held in Trust that has been cleared by the Courts and I am waiting for advice from the Justice

 

Department to authorise some of the pending contracted works against those funds.

 

Point 22 proposed to suspend proposed amendments to the Lands Act, the lPA Act, the Agriculture Investment Act, the Agriculture Administration Adjustment Act and the Mineral Resources Authority and the Mining Act to allow further consultation. This has been done.

 

Point 23 refers to the National Energy Authority Bill. This should refer to the Petroleum Authority Bill which is being finalised for Parliament.

 

Point 24 refers to progressing the Population Policy and funding has been provided in the 2018 budget under the Sustainable Development Program at Planning for this.

 

Point 25 refers to Medium Term Development Plan3 to be published in 2018. This is the 5-year development plan and indicator targets for the government of the day which will incorporate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Source: Post-Courier

Central Provincial Assembly Pass 2018 Budget

04:00pm


Source: Post-Courier Online 

 

BY LYNETTE KIL 

The Central province has handed down its 2018 budget of K206, 032,424 last Thursday with reduction in the Expenditure Budget.

 

The expenditure budget will see most cuts in the service area and that includes

 

The administration Function grant will decrease to K1, 544,200 from K1, 914,200 in 2017

 

Other service delivery Function Grant will decrease to K2, 347,800 from K3, 098,300 in 2017

 

Health Function Grant will decrease to K5, 407,300 from K5, 882,800 in 2017

Pom Gen to receive K100 million

THE Port Moresby General Hospital will receive K100 million of the K1.5 billion health sector allocation in the 2018 national budget, Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Sir Puka Temu says.
Sir Puka said they had been allocated 100 per cent funding but the challenge was how to implement the budget.
“I’ve been in this hospital most of my life and I’ve seen transformation under the new board. The highest institution in healthcare is the hospital,” he said.
“This is to bring the private sector skill, experience and acumen into the public sector. The things they lack are because of the Budget issues.
“I was health secretary before and I would beg the government to fund our health plan below 60 per cent. It’s now 100 per cent funding.”
Sir Puka said the key word was partnership and he urged the communities to help the management of the hospitals by doing their part.
“Don’t throw rubbish everywhere. Listen to security guards,” he said.
“Visit patients on time with one guardian. Doctor-patient relationship must be improved. Prescription practices must be good and patients must complete their doses to avoid drug resistance.”

Source: The National

Fire Service thanks Government for K18mil allocation

THE PNG Fire Service has thanked the Government for the K18 million allocated in the 2018 Budget.
PNG Fire Service chief Bill Roo said the fire authority was happy, and would upgrade its existing fire stations and build new ones.
Roo said over the years, the fire service managed to use whatever funding it was allocated and continued to provide its services.
“Even if we get a cut or an increase, we use whatever is given,” Roo said.
“This year, we have received an increase and we thank the Government for the support.”
Roo said they were willing to work with provincial governments to establish fire services in the provinces.
“We are also looking at building our capacity, get new fire trucks and fix the old ones,” Roo said.
He said the fire service had 14 stations – four in the National Capital District and 10 in other provinces.
“We are looking at upgrading these existing ones and also build fire stations for the other 12 provinces,” Roo said.
“Fire service is essential and we are looking at improving our service delivery.”
Roo said they were also up-skilling officers and upgrading fire service equipment in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next year.
The fire service will be celebrating its 50th anniversary tomorrow at the Port Moresby Fire Station – the first fire station in the country.

K14 Billion For 2018

 

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.

MP subsidises airfares for locals

Source: Loop PNG
 
By: Julianna Waeda
 
 
The Mission Aviation Fellowship was recently boosted with K250,000.
 
Jimi MP, Wake Goi, presented a cheque to MAF during the weekend in Mt Hagen.
 
It was the part payment of a K2 million commitment to subsidise airfares for the people of Jimi within a four-year period.
 
The implementation of the scheme commences on the first week of November and a review would take place after three months’ time.
 
Goi, when presenting the cheque, said the scheme is not restricted to Jimi people. Others who travel to Jimi by MAF crafts can also access it. It is only for those who are travelling to Kol, Ambuluwa, Koninambe and Sendiap airstrips within Jimi only.
 
Furthermore, medical emergency cases would be fully covered by the scheme while other special arrangement travels would only go through him.
 
The part payment of the scheme is from the K2 million DSIP funds from the National Government, revealed Goi.
 
The cheque was given to the company’s administration manager, Eric Eribieng, at the MAF’s Kagamuga hangar on Sunday.
 
Meantime, on behalf of the MAF PNG, Eribieng and Godfrey Sim, the church, community and government partnership manager, thanked the MP for his initiative.
 
They described it as a first-of-its-kind after 65 years of service in PNG.
 
The MAF website states: “In 66 years of operation in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has served hundreds of communities which are isolated by mountains, jungle, rivers and swamps.
 
“Strategically located bases in Rumginae, Wewak, Goroka, Madang and Telefomin are connected by a network of flying routes to MAF’s headquarters in Mt Hagen.”
 
(Famine relief flights reach remote villages in Papua New Guinea – Picture: MAF UK)
 
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