Budget To Stimulate Economy, Says PM
Prime Minister James Marape has assured the nation that despite tough times his government would use budget and instruments of government as tools to ensure the economy is alive.
“This year is one of the toughest years in our 45 years of nationhood,” he said.
“Covid-19-induced global economic contraction means that we have less than forecasted economic activities in 2020.
“Like most governments around the world who are using both fiscal and monetary tools to assist their citizens and business pull through, the Marape government under Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey will hand down a supplementary budget to address the drop in revenue while using budgetary reallocations to make interventions, especially at key sectors to ensure economic sustainability and essential service provisions.”
Mr Marape said with an already hyper-debt level at 39 per cent debt to GDP when his government took office last year, the government had very little room and no option but to clean up the mess of the O’Neill era while also settling many of his contractual and unfulfilled liabilities all over the country.
“You only have to ask (the) Works Department, which had filed up unsettled contracts to the tune of K4 billion where last year we settled K300 million of those contracts,” he said.
“Let me assure the nation, we are constructing this supplementary budget to stimulate the economy, with good intentions to keep our country functional in hard times, we will get there and I ask our nation for your understanding. Government has to do this in times of less private sector activities due to global Covid-19 effects.
“Our nation in the past had occasions of higher debts but we have survived thus far 45 years on, and my government’s push to gain more from our natural resources will mean into the future we will be okay.
“But to get to that future, government funds must be spent in right areas to grow and secure our economy and that is what we doing in this supplementary budget and going forward into 2021.”