Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel, says this is 5.1 percent higher compared to the 2018 Supplementary Budget estimate of K13 million.
In compliance with the PNG Fiscal Responsibility Act 2006, which was amended in 2017, the 2018 Final Budget Outcome Report was released via the Treasury website on the 31st of March, and announced on the 1st of April in Port Moresby.
Treasurer Abel said despite the earthquake and some unexpected costs, the Government made good progress in terms of their commitments to improve fiscal discipline and deliver a credible budget.
“You will see that revenue and grants were actually K685.5 million above the 2018 Supplementary Budget estimate,” he said. “Now immediately some of that was in relation to additional grant funding particularly around APEC, and also the earthquake (grants) that came in from our friends.”
Excluding grants, revenue as a share of GDP was 14.9 percent higher, an increase over the 2017 result of 13.3 percent and above the target of 14 percent set in the Medium Term Revenue Strategy.
Abel said the trend of declining revenues has been reversed, where he gave credit to PNG’s revenue collecting agencies.
“So the revenue side of the picture is quite good. We are trending upwards and we want to continue to drive revenue collection as a percentage of GDP further up,” Abel said.
“We’ve set a Medium Term Revenue Strategy target of 15 percent but we are already achieving that and we want to go further up – we need to continue towards 20 percent and above.”
On the other hand, total expenditure and net lending was over K16 million – up by 5.5 percent on the 2018 Supplementary Budget estimate. Abel attributed this to APEC, the February 2018 earthquake and public servants’ pay, which continues to be a challenge for the Government.