Treasurer impressed with ABG budget

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey recently voiced his appreciation of a ‘professional and concise’ Autonomous Bougainville Government budget.

The ABG 2021 budget was received at Treasury on Thursday, January 7th, 2021.

Following the submission, the Treasurer said: “I was pleased to receive the 2021 Budget Submission from the Autonomous Bougainville Government for an appropriation of K390,489,916. The budget was delivered on behalf of the ABG President, Ishmael Toroama, by the ABG Minister for Finance and Treasury, Mathias Roman Salas.

“I was very impressed by a professional and concise overview of the budget presented by the ABG team, and enjoyed discussing some key budget issues.

“The Budget highlighted a balanced approach between operational expenditure (K158 million) and the capital development budget (K159 million).

“One half of the operational expenditure was spent on supporting teachers’ salaries and leave fares, showing the importance given to education. With my electorate also based around an island economy, I could sympathise with many of the issues raised, such as the difficulties of remoteness, water transport and safety.

“The 2021 ABG Budget highlighted the development needs of ABG and actions being taken, drawing on both internal revenues from ABG (7 percent) as well as National Government grants (81.5 percent) with the remainder from cash balances.

“Looking forward, as it is for the national government, there is the vital issue of how we can raise additional local revenues to support our development needs.”

Labour mobility was raised by the Treasurer, who invited the ABG team to meet with key representatives at Treasury to understand more the benefits and challenges of working in Australia and New Zealand.

The discussions also covered issues around funding shortfalls from 2020 (hopefully due to the 2021 Budget being finalised before the close of accounts on 31 December), funding of three particular roads projects, as well as more technical budget accounting issues.

“It was a productive and useful discussion, the first of many planned in 2021 between the National Government and the ABG,” stated the Treasurer.

(PNG Treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey, receiving the 2021 ABG Budget from ABG Minister for Finance and Treasury, Mathias Roman Salas)

Press release