Treasury looks into major projects

Treasury intends to better show what the national budgets are building for Papua New Guinea, creating much needed jobs in our districts.

In this first release, the second tranche of the Sustainable Highlands Highway Investment Program (SHHIP) is evaluated.

The SHHIP shall upgrade 71 bridges along the national Highlands Highway between Lae’s Nadzab Airport to Mt Hagen’s Kagamuga Airport.

Treasurer Discusses Economic Investment With Aust.

Increased investment flows into PNG to help grow the economy, was the key item of discussion. 

Mr Ling-Stuckey said it was also an opportunity to relay the Marape-Basil Government’s gratitude for the strong support from Australia in dealing with the devastating health and economic impacts of COVID-19 in Papua New Guinea.

“A key example of this is the planned investment by Telstra into PNG. 

“There was agreement that this major investment could serve as an example for other Australian companies making major future investments. 

Namah Lauds Treasurer

Namah said we are in the 21st century and such bills need to be reviewed and amended to confirm with the changing environment.

He emphasized that Government's institutions must be friendly to the people and Central Bank is one such.

The Opposition Leader also commended the Treasurer for doing his best to bring the amendment to the floor of Parliament for review.

The amendment to the Central Bank Bill will now see the reduced number of board members from 11 to a manageable 9 members.

Treasurer welcomes banking act review

The first phase report was completed on October 25th and uploaded on the Bank of PNG website.

Themes covered in the report are: learning from experience; strengthening Bank independence; delivering accountability; reducing discretion; and matching objectives with functions.

Treasurer meets with UN’s Deputy Secretary-General

Ling-Stuckey said he was pleased with the informative and positive discussions held with the United Nation’s Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, on integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into PNG’s budget and economic frameworks.

Mohammed also chairs the United Nations Sustainable Development Group.

“Her insights as the former Finance Minister for Nigeria, a country of over 200 million people also dealing with major development challenges, were particularly useful,” stated Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey. 

Marape commends treasurer

He said Treasurer Ling-Stuckey’s presentation updated Papua New Guinea on the state of the economy during the ongoing war against COVID-19.

Marape also commended the Budget Management Committee (BMC) spearheaded by Treasury and Finance for keeping ‘MV PNG afloat in rough seas'.

“If they (BMC) hadn’t done this, we stood every possibility of sinking, but the Treasurer and his team stood strong.

“There were so many lies and deceit spun by the Opposition that we relied on overseas advisors.

Kavieng Finance Woes

In a letter to the Provincial Administrator, Ling Stuckey said he granted the budget conditional approval, and named two conditions that need to be satisfied before full approval is granted.

The conditions are that the provincial development plan 2017-2022 and acquittals on all Lihir royalty funds from 2007 to 2020 must accompany the budget submission.

Stuckey also said in the letter that the funds for the months of January, February, March and April only will be released and the balance of the funds will be frozen until the conditions are met.

Treasurer put on Notice

Mr O’Neill asked the Treasurer to explain the COVID-19 loans that are adding up into billions of Kina.

“Can you assure this House where you are spending this money, so that our people and our country can be aware of the spending the Government is doing to stop the spreading of the COVID-19 in the country.

“Could you give us the exact time frame you will lodge the full report of this loans,” O’Neill asked.

O’Neill said the reason for raising this concern is because the funding are from international organisations that will be repaid by our country and our people.

K462m Western budget approved

The Budget, submitted by Governor Taboi Awi Yoto, consists of National Government grants of K236 million, and internal revenue (mostly from the resources sector) of K226.7 million.

Ling-Stuckey complimented Governor Yoto on the focus of the budget, which reflects the Marape-Basil Government’s agenda for national economic and social development.

He said he and the Treasury would work closely with the Governor and his provincial administration to ensure that the 2021 provincial budget is delivered according to plan.

K1bn support from Japan

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey said the K1 billion provided to the 2020 Budget was welcome support from a long-standing partner and demonstrated the confidence partners had in PNG's economic recovery.

“The assistance was provided as a very, very cheap loan, with an annual interest rate of only 0.01 percent (one-hundredth of a percent), a 15 year loan term and 4 years before any loan principal repayments are required,” stated Ling-Stuckey.

“Funds were allocated to the urgent fight against COVID-19, and general health measures.”