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PM Marape: 2020 budget a 'hard' one

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has described the K18.7 billion 2020 Budget as a “hard” one, in view of the current economic climate.

He said this yesterday when commenting on the Budget which was handed down by Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey last Thursday.

“It’s a hard budget in view of the fact that our revenue environment was not certain,” Prime Minister Marape said.

“Some of our big-ticket projects like Wafi-Golpu mine, Porgera mine, P’nyang and Papua LNG projects are still in discussion stage.

“Revenue was not certain, but I am comforted that Treasury was able to model next year’s Budget, and for the next three to four years, out of our own ‘sweat component’, ‘sweat’ meaning what we invest in.

“We’re using this Budget as a tool to restimulate and diversify our economy to other sectors.”

Prime Minister Marape said the K4.6 billion deficit, projected to be the largest ever, “is not something we should be fearful about”.

“This is so long that, as custodians of the Budget, what we plan to implement is geared towards recuscitating the economy,” he said.

“What we borrow must come in to recuscitate the economy.”

Prime Minister Marape said this included the US$330 million (K1 billion) loan from Australia.

“The Treasury will look at better financing options in the market to ensure that our deficit is totally financed,” he said.

“We tried our best to be balanced and as fair as possible, right across the country.

“So, overall, the budget is not bad but it’s going to be a hard year.

“We have to stick to the core fundamentals, be conservative.

“This is all to ensure that we get back on the right track by 2025, by which time, we should be cascading back to a lower deficit.

“We should have a lower debt-to-GDP by the mid-2020s.”

Prime Minister Marape said revenue was forecast to increase by K2 billion.

“The K14 billion revenue will be the highest ever on record that we will have collected thus far,” he said.

“That’s a strong indication of our own commitment to work hard next year at all levels.

“That’s why we’re sharing the burden right across all parts of our country.”

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