2023 ABG budget focuses on service delivery

The 2023 Autonomous Bougainville Government Budget is focused on service delivery, increasing revenues and providing facilities and infrastructure.

ABG Minister for Treasury and Finance, Mathias Salas, announced this in parliament this week when he tabled the 2023 ABG Budget speech.

“The major focus of the 2023 ABG Budget is the consolidation of the peace and political process through economic and infrastructure development to prepare and mobilise the people for the conduct of consultations and negotiations for Independence in Bougainville,” Salas said.

The ABG’s 2023 money plan is framed under the theme “Implementing Independence Readiness”, with a total appropriation of K679,179,000 – inclusive of national government grants, internal ABG revenue and re-appropriated funds from 2022.

Minister Salas explained that the 2023 budget has a significant increase of 59 percent in revenue and a 15 percent increase in National Government grants to Bougainville. A bulk of it is sourced from the re-appropriated balances under this year’s budget, which the ABG is yet to receive from the national government.

The 2023 ABG Budget predicts an increase in internal revenue at an estimated total of K55 million.

Much of these revenue raising initiatives of the government will primarily be done through tax and revenue legislation development led by the Bougainville Tax Office.

“A major policy initiative of the Toroama-Nisira Government is to take and strengthen our revenue raising measures to the next level, not necessarily by increasing taxes, but by creating a broad-based tax regime that will not burden tax payers too much,” Salas stated.

“There are other opportunities which the ABG will endeavour to substantially increase internal revenue, but these will require formal government interventions and serious engagements with relevant national agencies so that they may be progressed.”

Speaking on development projects across all sectors, Minister Salas explained that all projects were compiled based on the bottom-up approach of budget consultations with district and community governments held in the second quarter of this year.

Press release