NEC yet to receive IMF report, says PM O’Neill

The National Executive Council is yet to receive the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article IV Report says Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told Loop PNG that, the report is still with the Treasury Department for consultation.

“It is my understanding that IMF mission report is still being discussed between Treasury and IMF because of some discrepancies.”

“The report has not reached NEC and therefore cannot comment any further,” O’Neill said.        

Institute of National Affairs executive director, Paul Barker said it’s unheard for a country to delay the release of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Report.

The IMF Article IV report was released in November 2016.

 “In any case, around the world, it’s almost unheard of for IMF reports not to be released, and in PNG the IMF reports have always been released to the public promptly,” Barker said.

“The IMF, like any institution, doesn’t always get things right, but it does carry authority, and its staff report is prepared by experienced staff economists, including participation from sister international financial institutions.

“The Fund is effectively a membership organisation of nation states, and operates as a banker of last resort to member countries experiencing balance of payments difficulties.

“The Article IV reports assess the state of the economy, and particularly the monetary aspects, and clearly aims to assist governments and Central Banks manage stable monetary and wider economic conditions.

“Where things go wrong, either as a result of external pressures, such as falling commodity prices, or poor economic management, or some combination of the two, the IMF will recommend remedial action,” Barker said.

He added that a response from the National Government and Bank of Papua New Guinea will dismiss speculations about the country’s economy, and is good for investors’ confidence.

“Because by not releasing it, it encourages speculations, people assuming some pretty harsh things about economy management and monetary management in PNG,” Barker said.

“Maybe some strong words in there, even if expressed in a diplomatic manner, even if there are, there is damage from withhold a report, speculations is damaging, investors’ confidence in PNG is not strong because of difficult economy scenario the country had experienced in the last couple of years.”

File picture of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.  

Charles Yapumi