17 Sep 2013

Ghost workers cause of latest PNG budget blow out

3:00 pm on 17 September 2013

Papua New Guinea's Treasury Minister Don Polye has revealed a further 60 million US dollar budget blow-out caused by salary payments to apparently non-existent workers on the government payroll.

Mr Polye says the 2013 Budget had projected a fiscal deficit of 7 point 2 percent but this is now out to 7 point 7 percent.

But he says it remains within 32 percent of the overall gross domestic product debt ratio, which is manageable.

He has called on provincial governors and administrators to check that those being paid are legitimately on the payroll.

The latest blowout comes amid a fall in commodity prices with a drop in returns on oil, copper, cocoa and other key commodities.