Opposition demands recall of Parliament

Leader of Opposition Belden Namah is demanding the Government to recall Parliament and pass the Supplementary Budget to give effect to the K5.6 billion stimulus package announced by the Treasurer in Parliament recently.

Namah said such actions taken by the Government fails to address the effects of COVID-19 on the struggling private sector and the people of PNG.

He explained that the passing of the Supplementary Budget will give effect to the recent announcement of the K5.6 billion stimulus package.

Namah said the Government plans to introduce its Fiscal Stimulus Package in the June session of Parliament.

He asked why prolong it for another two months, when they can intervene through the fiscal policy adjustment now.

“This is a very big let-down for our people, our struggling families and the private sector,” Namah said in a press conference on Tuesday.

“Why should we condemn our people to fend for themselves until June?” he asked.

Namah also accused the Government of using COVID-19 excuse to correct its 2020 Budget which he claimed is doomed to fail.

“The 2020 initial budget deficit of K4,631m represents business as usual  and so the announcement of a K5.6b stimulus package means that the fiscal stimulus package is only K1b and we don’t even know the details of it,” says Namah.

However, Treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey told this newsroom in an interview that there is no need for a supplementary budget.

“We don’t need to pass the Supplementary budget to give effect to the K5.6b Stimulus package.

“Passing the supplementary budget means recalling of Parliament which involves a huge expense.

“The stimulus package is based on smart economic stimulus options with minimum impacts on the budget and maximum gains for our people and economy,” Mr Ling-Stuckey said.

He added that rather than focusing on the budget, the Government can use other economic tools available.

“These are the monetary policy and regulatory policies including superannuation. The positive links we have now built with the international community can be leveraged.”

Freddy Mou