23 Aug 2004

PNG hopes for debt reduction

4:21 pm on 23 August 2004

The Papua New Guinea government says it hopes to see a reduction in the national debt of about 25 million US dollars in the 2005 annual budget.

The Chief Secretary, Joshua Kalinoe, said the 2005 Budget would aim to control expenditure, ensure that there was no new additional borrowing and reduce the size of the public service.

HIV/AIDS prevention awareness is likely to be a new funding expenditure because of the rapid increase in rates of infection.

The Minister for Community Development, Lady Carol Kidu, says it will be a challenge to find the extra money:

"At present we are relying on the donor dollar, primarily coming from AusAID, and that particular programme will phase out next year and the parliamentary group has been calling for creative budgetting as it cannot come from the health budget."

Papua New Guinea's Minster for Community Development, Lady Carol Kidu