31 Dec 2012

Bougainville to spend big on infrastructure as condition of Port Moresby support

11:18 am on 31 December 2012

The government in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says much of its record budget for 2013 will go into infrastructure development, because that is what the national government wants.

The budget of 186 million US dollars is up nearly 50 percent on the previous year.

This is largely because the bulk of additional special funding from Port Moresby for the current year is being carried over.

Bougainville's finance minister Albert Punghau says it is tied funding from the national government which wants the bulk of it spent on infrastructure development.

"Something that the people can see, that the national government can see and say that yes, that money that was earmarked for high impact projects like roads and bridges and airports has been spent on something that the people can see and says yes the money has been spent on that. Because they have been saying that for social services you can't really actually see the physical thing of education and health. So that is why they are saying it is good to have infrastructure like roads, bridges and airports."