Morobe passes 2023 budget

The Morobe Provincial Government passed its 2023 budget that was valued at over K644 million.

Presenting the estimated budget at Tutumang Haus on Thursday afternoon (Feb 9th), Morobe Governor, Luther Wenge, outlined that over K440 million was from national grants, more than K203 million stemmed from internal revenue and K1,400,000 was from former year’s grants.

Wenge said the largest portion of internal revenue was from the Goods and Services Tax, which makes up almost 75 percent of the entire revenue estimates.

GST revenue was valued at K153 million, liquor licensing fees at K6.5 million and mining levy at K2.5 million.

“I’m sure the province should get more from GST than the current share that we receive now, Mr Chairman,” Wenge said. “Therefore we now demand that we get the full 3 percent of the GST that the province should get.

“By GST law we are supposed to get 3 percent, National Government will get 3 percent, for import and export levy and also the income tax on the company tax and inland tax; but what we’re getting is less.

“Nonetheless, I will put it on record, Mr Chairman, that I will make it my business to fight the National Government to ensure we get 100 percent of the inland tax.”

Of the GST received by Morobe, 20 percent is remitted to the Lae City Authority to maintain and upgrade services in PNG’s industrial hub.

“In monetary terms, K36 million to the Lae City Authority,” said Governor Wenge.

“It is important that we maintain and upgrade the level of services in Lae, Mr Chairman. The city must have the capacity to meet the appetite for growth and transformation.”

Governor Wenge further outlined that the MPG’s focus is to grow the province’s revenue through infrastructure development and empowering the people through agriculture, fisheries, SME and tourism. 

In the budget, K22 million has been allocated to each of the 10 districts of Morobe, where K10 million is for district services improvement program, K5 million for district infrastructure program, K5m from infrastructure development grants and K2 million tied to programs and projects under the provincial budget.

With the budget receiving a majority support of 41 members, Tutumang was adjourned to March 29th.

Carmella Gware