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PNG opposition wants 2019 Supplementary Budget repealed

The opposition will seek legal advice and potentially take the government to court to illegitimise statements contained in the supplementary budget deficit of K3.5 billion passed last Friday.

They ultimately want the budget to be nullified.

Their immediate stance though is that the government should repeal the 2019 Supplementary Budget Appropriation Act because it was misleading and coated with deceits and lies.

“It’s a very serious matter,” shadow Treasurer Joseph Lelang said.

They have also unanimously agreed that Prime Minister James Marape should sack his Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey and himself, resigning.

In a press conference after yesterday morning’s Parliament session, their leader Belden Namah said “we believe the supplementary appropriation to be illegal.”

Mr Namah was with his shadow Treasurer Joseph Lelang, Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marat, Kerema MP Richard Mendani and West Sepik Governor Tony Wouwou.

The press conference stemmed from a serious of questions without notice in Parliament earlier when Namah quizzed the Prime Minister James Marape about the budget.

Noting the absence of Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey, Namah directed questions to the Prime Minister as the “chief of ministers”.

Mr Namah described the budget as “legally defective.”

The Prime Minister told Parliament that he would respond accordingly later as there were series of convoluted questions, and it was important the questions were crystallized and answered succinctly for the benefit of all citizens.

“We cannot implement the budget in this form,” Mr Namah maintained his stance at the press conference.

The government last Friday passed a supplementary

The opposition’s contentions were that the supplementary budget contained a figure K392.6 million in two sources of financing.

“One of the things they misled is that they said the K392.6 million is additional gains in revenue,” Lelang said.

“In other words it’s a surplus budget.”

“So we are wondering where the surplus budget is coming from?”

Mr Namah said if we looked at budget documents it said there were two sources they would get revenue at K392.6 million each.

One is through consolidated revenue which comes from IRC and Customs taxes and the other is debt financing.

He said the consolidate revenues however do not accommodate lending of monies.

“So the entire appropriation bill is illegal,” he said.

“You have given direction by law to secretary of treasury to also make available K392.6 million to fund your budget, so in actual fact its K784.2 million.

“How will the Marape Stevens government explain to the people of this country that they have made this blunder,” he said.

The opposition said the budget did not pay attention to the mid year economic fiscal outlook (MYEFO)  which predicted the budget to be at K 2.373 billion deficit.

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