Minister for National Planning, Charles Abel Talk on 2015 Budget

PORT MORESBY - Minister for National Planning, Charles Abel, today said that the K16.2 billion budget was “a record budget in the history of PNG”.

He said it is a responsible and fantastic budget.

“The government is focusing on decreasing the nation’s total debt to GDP by 27 and 28 per cent by 2015,” he announced on the FM 100 talk-back show with Roger Hau’ofa. Also on the panel was Finance Minister James Marape, who announced that there will not be any tax increases next year.

He said the budget is all about empowering and delivering services to the people on the ground, especially to rural areas. One-hundred and fifty million kina has been given to the National Development Bank, with K50 million allocated to small to medium enterprises. Two-hundred million kina was given to BSP for the housing scheme.

He encouraged PNG citizens who have a commercial sound project to write proposals and apply for loans to these sectors. The government also created a fiscal envelope for the people of PNG as a parameter of investment. He said they will remain committed to the Sovereign Wealth Fund and revenue from big projects like PNG LNG will be placed into the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

By then, they will reach a balanced payment in 2017. Finance Minister James Marape clarified that the Opposition will receive the same DSIP and PSIP as others.

He said the DSIP is not a Constitutional right. They will only get it when funding is available.

Marape also highlighted that with the 2015 budget, funding will be put into nursing colleges, technical colleges and the school of excellency for the first time. [EMTV]
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