18 Nov 2009

PNG's Treasurer announces a balanced budget

6:55 am on 18 November 2009

Papua New Guinea has steered itself through turbulent economic times, with Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch announcing a balanced budget and strong economic growth.

Mr Pruaitch handed down the 2010 budget yesterday, with total revenue and grants expected to be just over 7.49 billion kina or 2.77 billion US dollars, 850 million kina 314 million US dollars up on last year's budget.

The government says the budget was balanced, compared to a 177 million US dollar deficit last year.

AAP says increased tax revenue, in part due to higher commodity prices, was one reason for PNG's positive performance.

It says a great deal of PNG's financial future relies on the huge ExxonMobil-led liquefied natural gas project, which is set to go online in 2014 and pump gas for a projected 30 years.

Mr Pruaitch says the economic growth in PNG in 2010 is expected to continue to be broad based and very strong at 8.5 per cent growth largely driven by the anticipated commencement of construction on the LNG project and other new mines.