Is Treasury Minister genuine?

Treasury Minister Patrick Pruaitch owes the nation an apology over his statements against the Government’s management of the economy.

Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Tobias Kulang, told Loop PNG he is disappointed that his colleague Minister spoke against the Government.

Minister Kulang said if Pruaitch had an issue with the management of the economy, he should’ve spoken a long time ago and not on the eve of the elections.

“My question is, is he genuine? If he’s genuine he should’ve done that a long time ago.

“Now it’s just days away from the issuance of the writs so, I don’t know whether he’s truly genuine.

“He’s the principal economic advisor to the government, so anything wrong with the economy, he’s the first one to accept the responsibility.

“And he should resign forthwith, he never did that. He’s decided to say what he said and do this at this stage and I don’t think he’s genuine.”

Kulang added that it’s unbecoming of a leader to try to disassociate himself from a government he has been very much a part of for the last five years.

“I’m disappointed, he owes an apology to the nation. If there were issues, he should have come out a long time ago. Why wait until now?”

Finance Minister James Marape issued a statement following Pruaitch’s comments, saying the Treasury Minister should not shy away for political convenience.

“The timing of his outburst cannot be more political than it is now as we confront the 2017 National Elections,” the Minister said.

“Whilst he is exercising his independence of mind, it now affirms in our mind as to how the country's treasurer remains silent on matters of economic policies confronting our nation.

“We now know he had a political motive behind his lacklustre performance as Treasurer.

“The O'Neill-Dion Government is a consultative government and he was placed in the highest echelons to offer alternatives.

“If he ever had any alternatives, he chooses to remain passive, only to come out on the eve of the election with this huge campaign statement.”

Meanwhile, during the special sitting of Parliament farewelling Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, Pruaitch took his seat in the front Government bench, a seat away from Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Cedric Patjole