PNG Opposition Vows To Reject Proposed Budget

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Namah irked complete budget not presented to Parliament

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 20, 2014) – PNG Opposition leader Belden Namah says the 2015 national budget should be rejected outright by the people.

And he said the Opposition was seeking legal opinion to stop the budget from being passed when Parliament resumed next Tuesday.

"The budget, as I have objected on the floor of Parliament, bordered on misrepresentation by the Government," Namah told reporters.

"If they are ill-prepared for what they call a historic budget of K16.1 billion [US$6.1 billion], then they are not prepared to run this country.

"I want to inform the people of this country that the Opposition has instructed its lawyers to have a look at the way the Government has presented a half-budget with the aim of restraining the executive government from coming in next Tuesday to pass the budget.

"It was not legally complete in the form it was presented (on Tuesday)."

Namah said what particularly irked him was the non-availability of Volume Three of the budget documents which contained the overall capital expenditure for 2015.

He said he continuously asked where Volume Three was but his requests fell on deaf ears, before Leader of Government Business James Marape, through Speaker Theo Zurenuoc, adjourned the sitting to Tuesday.

Namah said the Government had created history by being the first since independence to present an incomplete budget.

"For the first time since independence, a Government has come ill-prepared to present a significant bill that will determine the management of this country, the livelihood of our people, and the way this country will go from 2015 onwards," he said.

"Because of that, we are now becoming an international embarrassment."

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