PNG to introduce supplementary budget amid financial woes

GMT 22:03 2015 Friday ,07 August

Arab Today, arab today PNG to introduce supplementary budget amid financial woes

Finance ministry
Sydney - XINHUA

Papua New Guinea authorities have indicated they will introduce a supplementary budget as concerns grow surrounding the state of the Pacific nation's economy.

On Wednesday, O'Neill's political opposition warned the country was facing financial turmoil, calling on the government to stop the secrecy surrounding the nation's cash flow shortages.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Peter O'Neill told Xinhua on Friday the revised budget -- announced by Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch -- would not affect government's key priorities areas of education, health, law and order and provincial support.

"It's a case of looking what can be spent now and what can be spent later," the spokesperson said.

The PNG treasurer announced on Thursday an Appropriates Reduction Bill will be brought down to ensure the budget deficit would remain below that forecast and the country's debt to GDP ratio would not exceed that allowed by law, the Post Courier reported.

The 2015 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook Report, released on Monday, shows the nation's current debt to GDP ratio stands at 33.5 percent.

Failing to adjust expenditure in the 2015 fiscal year, the report warned the budget deficit would increase from 4.4 percent of GDP to a record 9.4 percent, consequently increasing the public debt to GDP ratio to 41.3 percent.

PNG has a legislated debt limit of less than 35 percent.

Authorities have blamed the loss of revenue on the downturn in prices for key commodities, particularly oil and gas.

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