PNG's Treasurer to focus on improving revenue stream

6:04 pm on 27 June 2019

The Papua New Guinea government will work to ensure a more efficient flow of revenue, the Treasurer says.

Sam Basil

Sam Basil Photo: Facebook

Yesterday in parliament, Sam Basil revealed findings from a review by the new James Marape-led government of PNG's economy.

The National reported Mr Basil saying the collection of forms of revenue such as corporate income tax, and goods and services tax had been below target for years.

Mr Marape has set a raised revenue target of $US4.3 billion over the next two years, which Mr Basil said could be achieved with a re-focussing of collection efforts.

The Treasurer indicated the government was also planning to significantly lift the revenue generation of state-owned enterprises.

"Dividend payments from our state-owned enterprises are very low, often paid late if at all, and appear to be discretionary and the performances of most of our public entities continue to be poor," Mr Basil said.

"This is higher than the current medium term fiscal strategy target, but it is possible if we refocus our efforts and re-energise our commitment.

"In terms of fiscal expenditure, non-essential spending in the form of personnel emoluments and office rental expenditures have ballooned and continue to expand to date."

The prime minister has reportedly directed that control measures be implemented to address such overruns and interest costs within government machinery.

"This higher non-essential spending has reduced spending on essential government services and the level of government arrears remains far too high for our businesses to endure," Mr Basil explained.