29 Aug 2002

PNG gets supplementary budget

5:06 pm on 29 August 2002

Papua New Guinea's new finance minister, Bart Philemon, has presented a supplementary budget to avert a projected 200 million US dollar deficit by the end of this year.

Mr Philemon said the government must lead the belt-tightening to stop the further decline of the currency and the reserves and to prevent interest rate increases.

Funding has been cut by 15 percent for MPs while departments lose about 30 million dollars.

GDP growth figures have been revised downwards from 1-point-2 percent to nought-point-4 percent.

New expenditure will go to towards maintaining the highland highway and to buy medicines.

A full budget is to be delivered in November that will require further cuts.

The government has signalled that will seek international assistance to help service its offshore debt.