O’Neill: Government is managing debt levels

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the Government is meeting all the challenges, including managing the country’s debt levels.

O’Neill told delegates at the Australia - Papua New Guinea Business Council breakfast today in Cairns that the country’s debt levels remain well below our ceiling of a 35 percent ratio of debt to GDP.

He said that it is 28 percent of the new GDP numbers that have been released which remain at around K18 billion for this year, out of which K4 billion is foreign debt, largely through concessional loans.

“If you look at the numbers in 2015, just over K90 million was paid to foreign debt servicing in that year.

“We have adjusted Government spending and increased efficiencies in our Government, we are listening to the business community on how we can improve our systems.

“There are issues on which we hear from our business community loud and clear, particularly in relation to the availability of foreign currency,” O’Neill stated.

He assured that in the coming weeks we will see an increasingly improved foreign currency availability.

O’Neill thanked the commercial banks particularly Westpac, ANZ and BSP and Kina who are working closely with the Central Bank in addressing this issue with Government.

Picture courtesy of Micky Kavera 

Quintina Naime