Papua New Guinea
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Sir John calls for collective government approach

SENIOR Member of Parliament and former Minister for Finance Sir John Pundari has called on all government Ministers and MPs to support Prime Minister James Marape to focus on getting the basic fundamentals right and have a co-ordinated approach to delivering services to our people.

He claimed that the government’s priorities were misguided and ambiguous, hence, nothing 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.

“We have been in government for more than four years and need to stop playing the blame game and start taking collective ownership and responsibility as a government on issues and challenges, we face today.”

Sir John called for a collective approach as a government and to relook at the priorities and seriously cut out unnecessary cost and save and spend in key priority areas to stimulate and grow the economy.

He said the government must seriously cut back on unnecessary overseas travels with large entourage using public monies and stop creating opportunities for additional cost: ie: opening new embassies, high commissions, creating new agencies and electorates.

Sir John further said the government should not have created the new portfolios of coffee, livestock, oil palm and international trade.

“We should not be thinking about creating any more new ministries as in a new ministry for coffee or livestock etc…the cost of creating new departments are exorbitant and breeds more corruption as well.

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 retrenched public servants must be incentivised and encouraged to go into SMEs.”

He further highlighted that each government department must seriously look at immediate cost saving measures and propose to 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 number one priority.

People have lost complete respect and confidence in our law enforcement agencies.