BPNG governor Loi Bakani

COVID-19 pandemic affecting commodity prices

Central Bank Governor Loi Bakani said this will affect the revenue for government and foreign exchange inflows into the market and to BPNG.

He said PNG, being a price taker, cannot do much about commodity prices.

Mr Bakani also stressed that even domestic tax and customs revenues will be lower given the slowdown of economic and business activities and an increase in jobs loss.

He explained that the only alternative source is external financing.

Control expenditure Government: BPNG

“Government must control and prioritise its spending especially before and after the National elections to maintain fiscal prudency and debt sustainability,” Bakani was quoted in the BPNG Quarterly Economic Bulletin.   

He also called for all revenue raising Government agencies to improve on their efforts in revenue collections in 2017.

The 2016 December Quarter report, states that international prices of some of the export commodities improved during the March quarter of 2017.

Bakani warns against paper banknotes

“The public is reminded again that banknotes (K2, K5, K10, K20, K50 and K100) made from paper ceased to be legal tender on 30th June 2012. Any paper banknotes do not have value anymore, and should not be accepted and used,” BPNG Governor Loi Bakani said.

“The Bank is aware that there are paper notes in the hands of some people attempting to exchange them for polymer banknotes.

O’Neill says economy not in recession

“Absolutely not, inflation goes up and down but it has averaged 6 per cent over the last 15 years and it won’t change in one (year),” Prime Minister O’Neill told Loop PNG.

He also appealed to Papua New Guineans to have confidence in the country’s Government and management of the economy.

Bank of Papua New Guinea Monetary Policy Statement for the month of September 2016 forecasted the annual inflation rate to reach 7.5 per cent in 2017 because of excessive government spending to fund the 2017 National Elections and 2018 APEC meeting.

BPNG to reduce unbanked population

BPNG governor Bakani said the central bank aims to roll out financial inclusive programs around the country to reduce the large percentage of unbanked population.

“With the help of these programs, we will reduce the figure from 80 to below 50 percent in the near future because our financial inclusion programs are implemented in the country through banks and financial institutions,” Bakani said during the opening of a two-day financial exposition in Mt Hagen last Friday.