Papua New Guinea’s 2023 National Budget presented by the Minister for Treasury Ian Ling-Stuckey was finally passed by the Parliament very late on Friday afternoon with an absolute majority of 86 votes – Nil against.
The Budget, including the grants for General Public Service Expenditure of K24 billion (US$6.8 billion), is an increase by K2 billion (US$568 million) from 2022 National Budget of about K22 billion (US$6.2 billion).
The sum of K24 billion (US$6.8 billion) consist of operational expenditure of K14.3 billion (US$4.1 billion) (consisting of K6.7 billion (US$1.9 billion) personnel emolument, K3.75 billion (US$1.1 billion) for Goods and Services, K642 million (US$182.3 million) functional grants, K2.5 billion (US$710 million) debt interest payment, GST and BTM of K816 million (US$231.7 million) while the Capital Expenditure of K9.7 billion (US$2.7 billion) includes Direct Government funding of K5.3 billion (US$1.5 billion), Service Improvement Program K1.1 billion, Concessional Loans K1.1 billion (312.4 million) and Donor Grants of K2.0 billion (US$568 million).
The Parliament also passed the Appropriation (Judiciary Services 2023) Bill (for the expenditure of K272.500 million (US$77.3 million) and the Appropriation (National Parliament 2023) Bill (for the expenditure of K220.660 million (US$62.6 million).
The passage of the consequential amendment that gives effects to the Budget include the Income Tax (2023 Budget) (Amendment) Bill that repeals the Market Concentration Provisions and to include as sunset clauses to end the Additional Tax for the Banking sector.
Other Bills includes the Non-Tax Revenue Administration Bill, Customs Tariff (2023 Budget) (Amendment) Bill to increase log export duty by 20 percent to encourage downstream processing with an intention to raise K30 million (US$8.5 million).
Also presented was the income tax, dividend (withholding) tax and interest (withholding) tax rates (2023 Budget) (amendment) Bill.
Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey said the real growth rate in the non-resource economy is recovering well with a growth of over 4 percent.
He added that the employment is growing while inflation is falling and that is expected to be under 6 percent in 2023.
He said foreign exchange reserves reach about K13 billion (US$3.7 billion), the highest in history.
Ling-Stuckey said the 2023 Budget will ensure the Pangu visions are carried through, especially the economic independence, focusing on the rural people. He said the total expenditure will be K24.567 million (US$6.9 million), a 10.8 percent increase on the original 2022 Budget, the largest investment in history.