Govt will foster equality in departments

In his International Women’s Day speech on Wednesday, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said: “We can be proud that today we have more women in senior roles than at any other time in our history.

“These are women as departmental heads and through staffing ranks, and in our judiciary.

“But this is not enough and continuous action speaks louder than words.”

The PM says we are seeing positive change in our schools, with the number of girls receiving an education continuing to grow.

PNG economy rebounding: Minister

In a statement, Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister, Rimbink Pato, says: “We are emerging from a challenging period with reduced commodity prices, but we are seeing a rebound that is strengthening the economy.

“Our economy is into the fifteenth year of positive economic growth, and debt and inflation are under control.

“Despite the recent global downturn, the Government was able to manage pressures and not reduce critical service delivery.

“We do have foreign currency access concerns that are being resolved, and have improved since last year.”

PNG rode storm quite well: O’Neill

“We did not increase taxes and we did not cut core services,” Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said during last week’s 2017 Prime Minister’s Back-to-Business Breakfast.

“Our Government was proactive in cutting waste in the public service, and we put some non-priority infrastructure projects on hold.

“These pressures all occurred at a time when our country was facing one of the worst drought in recent memory.”

O’Neill said this affected food supplies in communities vulnerable to extreme weather. The situation was further worsened by climate change.

O’Neill: Govt has been business-friendly

In his speech during the 2017 Back-to-Business-Breakfast in Port Moresby on Friday, O’Neill said the Government has sought to provide a strong level playing field for business.

This is through fiscal policies that are transparent and sound.

“Very importantly, tax positions have not changed over the past five years.

“The outcome we have sought – is to ensure certainty and stability for the business community.

“Business do not need uncertainty in taxation laws and government regulation. We are maintaining this certainty,” said O’Neill.

Lupari urges public servants to work and deliver

However, Lupari in a statement said the key challenge for the government is not so much economic issues but the ability of the Public Service to deliver.

“The Public Service continues to be a major obstacle to implementation and delivery of the government policies and programs," said Lupari.

“It is important that every public servant in the country reflect on our performance in 2016 and start 2017 with a change in attitude and take greater ownership."

He said changes in attitude were evident in 2016, "and must build on these improvements in 2017".

Tight budget but with a focus on elections

His Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch delivered one yesterday when he presented this Government’s 5th consecutive budget which is set at K12,965.4 million against a projected revenue envelope of K11,088.8 million.

This compares with an expenditure bill of K13,834 million in the recently passed 2016 Supplementary Budget after a K928 million was cut from the original budget to prevent a budget blow out. The revised revenue forecast in the Supplementary Budget was K11,722 million, slightly higher than the 2017 revenue forecast.

Government to deal with illegal firearms

He said the Government has also been looking into the use of illegal firearms in the country and increase the period of imprisonment of those convicted.

Marape made those comments after receiving a series of threats to his life and his family  from unknown people.

He said the Government will be looking into the reports by former Commander of Defence Jerry Singirok and Bire Kimisopa on the guns report in the next Parliament session early next month.

PNG Maritime forge relationship with National Government

Captain Kiong thanked the government to recognize Maritime College and come onboard to support with the funding of staff houses, simulator and administration building.

Kiong said for so long the government has neglected Maritime College and this was the first time the government has come to support vital projects in the school.

He said Maritime College was the pride of this Nation and the Pacific and its one of the best college in the world having equipment’s like the Ship Engine set up on the ground to be found only in the Southern Hemisphere.

Government aids people of Torokina

 A thousand bale of rice, other assorted goods and medical supplies were send on a charter boat down to Torokina.

Disaster coordinator on Bougainville Franklin lacey told Loop PNG that the supplies have already been distributed to the people who have been affected by the volcano.

“I for one would really like to thank the national Government, more particularly the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O’Neill for the funding his government has provided for the people of Torokina,” Lacey said.

Propose government rice quota system unfair: Report

The report stated that a competitive market is good for an efficient outcome and allocation of economic resources but the proposed import quota allocation system will frustrate competition and create an inefficient rice market in the country.

“By promoting anti-competitive trade practices through the proposed unfair import quota policy/system, the Government will be violating the World Trade Organization trading rules,” the report highlighted.