Caption: PM addressing the Mining Conference in Sydney .Photo:SUPPLIED.
Papua New Guinea’s record budget in 2015 has been a subject of discussion at the 13th PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference in Sydney that is being attended by around 2,000 leading resource industry and government executives.
In his keynote address and subsequent engagement with business representatives, the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, provided information on key budget expenditure, particularly as this relates to the resources sector.
PM O’Neill further updated the business sector on increased government investment in the key areas of education, health, law and order and Infrastructure.
“The national budget of 2015 again significantly boosts spending in basic services that are improving the lives of our people, and building our socio-economic infrastructure that is critical for ongoing economic growth,” the Prime Minister said at the conference.
“I reaffirm our government’s commitment to improving basic services, and building infrastructure in a careful and sensible manner.
“This includes record investment in free primary education, free universal health care, and expanded skills training our people.”
Delegates were interested to discuss Papua New Guinea’s projected growth in the coming years that will be the highest in the Asia Pacific region largely due to the revenue generated from the PNG/LNG project.
Ongoing investment in infrastructure and the devolution of services to local level government were also the subject of discussion with business.
“The budget provides substantial outlay of 3 billion Kina for important infrastructure that is vital for rural communities, such as roads and bridges, as well as electricity and clean water.
“The delivery of these Government services is being done through funding which has been provided through the Provincial and District Support Improvement program which allows an allocation of K10-million for each district and K20-million for each province respectively.
“Mr O’Neill said by dispersing funds this way, government resources are reaching people in the rural areas who are the ones that need the services the most.
“This transfer of decision-making on services, and the delivery mechanisms to district administrations, and the local and community level government, remains very much a work in progress.
“Again I want to stress, that this is empowering communities not to just make good decisions on spending, but to do this effectively.”