Possible Supplementary Budget in June

A supplementary Budget could be introduced in June this year as the Government monitors the impact the COVID-19 global pandemic has had on the country's revenues.

Prime Minister, James Marape, said this recently in response to the massive drop in oil prices.

The drop-in oil will affect revenue sales from oil and LNG, major export commodities for PNG.

Prime Minister James Marape said they will be in a better place in June to see by how much PNG’s revenue has gone off track.

In the meantime, the Government will implement its current budget plan.

“I’m not in a position to give you exactly by how much our revenue will be affected. But we will stick to our game plan, our Treasurers blueprint to ensure we finance majority of our budget this year, both through debt financing and our revenue collections,” said Marape.

“We will assess in a better place in June if we have gone off in a big way then obviously reallocation of priorities will come into play in a possible supplementary (budget) mid-year.

“So our supplementary budget, possibly mid-year, depending on the numbers on now much we have gone off track, our country will be able to see where our reprioritizing’s are in as far as expenditures are concerned.”

The Prime Minister promised that Public Investment Program (PIP) Projects will not be affected.

“But I will not be the first to kill Government investment in. key PIP areas. These in our view are places where government will spend money back into the economy to keep life in the economy.

“We are assessing exactly what will be the effect on the drop-in oil price, and that will influence the way we decide on supplementary budget or not in June and beyond,” said Marape.

Adding to the potential loss of revenue is the temporary suspension of the Porgera Gold Mine by Porgera Gold Venture (PJV) yesterday.

This was announced following the non-renewal of the Special Mining Lease.

Cedric Patjole