11 June 2020
Treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey recently updated Members of Parliament on the status of the K5.7 billion Economic Stimulus Package, and in particular the K600 million direct spending to government’s response to combating Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
In his COVID-19 statement to Parliament in early June, Mr Ling-Stuckey highlighted that the COVID-19 Treasury Bond had raised over 2 billion and he is confident he will raise the remaining K500 million at the end of June.
The Marape-Steven government had borrowed from domestic financial institutions and individuals to raise funds.
Mr Ling-Stuckey is confident the K1.26 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be in treasury before the end of the June session of Parliament .
“I might add that this money is on very concessional terms. The IMF funding has a zero per cent interest cost, the best, cheapest and only sovereign loan, ever negotiated by any government, in our history.”
The Treasurer assured Parliament that the K600 million in direct budget spending, and supported by the extra financing from the Treasury Bond, will shortly be disbursed to provinces and districts.
The K600 million support package has been split into the Health and Security Sector with K280 million while the Economic Sector is allocated K320 million.
Mr Ling-Stuckey however apologised for the slow implementation because of the revenue shortfalls to support the policy priorities and the other reason being , the budgeting systems are too rigid for an emergency response.
He further assured members that he had authorized the full amount of warrants for the COVID-19 programs.
“I want to stress that most of the money is going to provinces and districts to continue with our decentralise approach and our focus on rural and subsistence economy and the informal sector.
“This is where the bulk of our population is, and it is appropriate that there is where the money should go,” Mr Ling-Stuckey said.