Foreign missions miss 10 fortnights, says Pruaitch

Papua New Guinea diplomats have not been paid their salaries for up to 10 fortnights.

Treasury Minister, Patrick Pruaitch, revealed this and said despite intervention made the backlog is great and possibly too late to stop some dire consequences.

Pruaitch said this during a National Alliance Party event in Port Moresby where he also spoke against the PNC-led coalition government’s economic strategy which he says has resulted in massive debt, a plunging GDP and growth rate, and a debt-to-GDP ratio myth.

“One of the saddest plights is faced by highly respected Papua New Guineans who serve our country in PNG Embassies in Singapore, Beijing, Brussels and Washington.

“Most have not received their salaries and wages for up to ten fortnights. Some face possible eviction from diplomatic offices and their homes. Children of diplomats in the US capital last year were forced to withdraw from educational institutions because for their parents’ tuition fee free education was some kind of foreign dream!” Pruaitch said.

“Such abysmal treatment of PNG diplomats – our people, our representatives – in overseas jurisdictions has not happened before. It is happening now because the people who should care remain deaf to the constant cries for help and understanding.

“As treasurer I was forced to step in to rectify this situation. I ensured that the 2017 budget allowed for direct funds to be sent from treasury to these embassies to avoid a situation where funds continue to be diverted to other purposes. Unfortunately the backlog is great and it may take some time to catch up, and it is possibly too late to stop some potentially dire consequences,” he said.

Pruiatch said under the National Alliances two terms of Parliament in 2002 and 2007, PNG had the best economic growth.

He said NA was ready to get PNG’s economy back on track and that he and NA was ready to form the next Government.


Cedric Patjole