PNG GOVERNMENT PLAN MORE CUTS TO BUDGET

The Government is planning significant cuts to the national budget as a volatile global economy and plunging oil and gas prices take their toll on forecast government revenues.
Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch, says the government plans to cut over 1-billion Kina from expenditure this year, and is considering further measures to ensure the deficit will be lower than that projected in the Treasury's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.
Radio New Zealand reports Mr Pruaitch telling the Post Courier, that the government's fiscal strategy has been endorsed by the International Monetary Fund, which concluded that large spending cuts were needed to keep public debt at a sustainable level.
The I-M-F, says a comprehensive policy response to reduced commodity prices and the temporary suspension of mining at Ok Tedi had substantially lowered Government revenue prospects to the point where it was no longer feasible to aim for a balanced budget in 2017.
Mr. Pruaitch says taking prudent action now will safeguard PNG's economic performance in the next few years when key commodity exports are expected to remain low.

By: Radio New Zealand
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