Papua New Guinea
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Call for collective gov’t approach

Senior Member of Parliament and former Minister for Finance, Sir John Pundari claimed that the Government's priorities are misguided hence, nothing in tangible has been achieved so far.

“Let’s reset, refocus and address one challenge at a time. Patching the bleeding economy is more paramount now more than ever.

Sir John has called for a collective government approach by having a relook at priorities including cost-saving measures. He said this includes cutting back on overseas travels with a large entourage, and creating new ministerial portfolios.

“We should not be thinking about creating any more new ministries as in a new ministry for coffee or livestock etcetera. The cost of creating new departments are exorbitant,” he said.

On the contrary, Sir John said the Government should look at right-sizing the public service and close or merge duplicate departments and agencies.

“We need to payout and retrench unattached public servants immediately and save a minimum of at least K10 million per fortnight on public service wages. And retrench public servants must be incentivized and encouraged to go into SMEs.”

He further said that each government department must seriously look at cost-saving measures and propose to the government how best they can improve on services.

“The structure and mandate of KPHL must be reviewed and all proceeds from LNG be paid directly to the consolidated revenue and the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

“Stop borrowing and exercise strong and prudent fiscal discipline,” Sir John stressed.

He said law and order must be the top and number one priority. People have lost complete respect and confidence in our law enforcement agencies. As a result, crime has reached an unimaginable level, where people are getting the law into their hands.”

Sir John further advised that the government reduce the corporate and income tax rates, which will in turn stimulate the economy in the short to medium term.

“Increase the minimum taxable income from K30,000 to K50,000 per annum.”

He further emphasized that the government look at reopening the Porgera mine and escalate the Wafi Mine and Papua LNG to the construction phase immediately.

“Increase royalties by 2% (current is 2% so SNT pushed for [an] increase to 5%) and reduce mining gas and oil tax down to 15%. The 2% royalties should help with quarterly cash flow that can be filtered into the economy rather than wait for taxes that we don’t even have the capacity to audit and properly plan and execute investments in the renewable sector including agriculture.”