Treasurer

Namah calls for audit into COVID-19 funds

Namah made this call in a press conference in Port Moresby.

Leader of the Opposition Belden Namah is calling on the Government to tell the people of the country how the 23 million Kina COVID-19 funds is being spent as there is no supplementary budget to cater for the expenses.

Mr Namah made this call after Treasurer Ian Ling Stuckey announced an additional K600 million to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“Whilst all the rest of the world is scaling down on its response on COVID-19, PNG is scaling up with its response.

Treasurer: Balancing health and livelihood during COVID-19

“We still know so little about this enemy. There is great uncertainty.

“We know, based on fighting viruses in the past, that measures such as social distancing, washing hands with soap, coughing and sneezing into a cloth or elbow are vital.

“We know that lockdowns can slow the spread of the disease. But what type of lockdown? Just at international or internal borders? Complete lock-down or partial lock-down? And if a partial lock-down, what are the vital actions to protect livelihoods while also reducing health risks? Are we aiming for eradication or suppression?

Discussions with NZ to progress economic cooperation

This follows Prime Minister James Marape’s state visit to New Zealand in February where it was agreed to forge closer relations between the two countries.  

“I thanked the New Zealand government for its continuous support for PNG’s economic development,” stated the Treasurer.

Commitment to managing debt, deficits: Treasurer

“The starting point at the time of my appointment as Treasurer on 27th of August 2019 has now been revealed as a debt to GDP ratio of 42 percent,” he said.

“The debt to GDP ratio will be reduced from 42 percent down to 38 percent in just five years. Clearly, getting debt back under control is a long-term task given the mismanagement during the ‘lost decade’.”

The Treasurer said the government was committed to working within the existing legal framework governing borrowing.

Critical economic sectors will grow: Treasurer

They will be driven by a strong performance in the communications sector and broad-based growth in the agriculture, fishing and forestry sector.

Ling-Stuckey says in 2020, real non-resource growth is projected at 3.3 percent. This is the part of the economy that actually brings greatest benefit to our people.

New expenditure rule for fiscal discipline: Treasurer

“For too many years, the vital development budget kept losing out to uncontrolled increases in wages and goods and services expenditure,” stated the Treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey.

“One key element of budget repair is to spend the money we have much more wisely. For too many years, the development budget has been squeezed due to rapid increases in the operational budget which covers wages and goods and services expenditure. This was a major structural problem in the budget.

Kavieng MP sworn-in as Treasurer

Ling Stuckey was sworn-in by Governor General Sir Bob Dadae at the Government House today.

Prime Minister James Marape, when welcoming the new Minister, also announced the decommissioning of Richard Maru as the Minister for Planning.

Bulolo MP Sam Basil is now the Planning Minister.

"It is after careful consideration that I announce the decommissioning of Richard Maru as a Minister of State," stated PM Marape. 

Govt not in debt distress situation: Treasurer

He said there is also no policy advice from the Department of Treasury on the need to re-finance its debt stock.

Basil says PNG can pride itself on its credit worthiness backed by its enviable reputation of timely payments on its loan repayments.

Minister Basil said loan contracts have legal implications and are guided by terms and conditions that see loans reach their full maturity.

New Treasurer tasked to review tax arrangements

Minister Basil said this during the handover takeover of the Treasury Ministry on Thursday in Port Moresby.

Basil takes over Treasury from Charles Abel, who is now Finance Minister.

Treasurer Basil said the Terms of Reference given to him by Prime Minister Marape are in line with the Prime Minister’s goal of PNG being the richest black Christian nation.

The ToR includes:

Govt yet to ID right landowner group

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel, said this recently when asked for an update on the payment issue.

More than two Koiari landowner groups have popped up in recent years, creating complications when it comes to the disbursement of royalties or land vetting and mobilisation funds.

The most recent issue encountered was when a large group of locals shut off water valves at the hydrostations on the 22nd of March, demanding K10 million in payment.