Tag Archives: Information

Cost of rice will not increase: Trukai

Source: Loop PNG

 

PNG’s leading rice supplier, Trukai Industries, says it will not increase the cost of rice in the country.

 

Trukai Industries CEO, Greg Worthington-Eyre, said while Trukai understands and is deeply concerned over the current economic conditions in PNG, and the pending inflationary impact of fuel price increases, currency devaluation and reduced consumer spending power, it has no plans at this point of passing on the impact of these issues to PNG consumers.

 

Worthington-Eyre says Trukai’s focus on food security, which includes affordability and quality, is at the forefront and they will be making every effort to support the people of PNG.

 

Trukai is the oldest and largest rice distribution and manufacturer in PNG, having been established in February 17th, 1970.

 

Apart from rice, they also supply stockfeed.

Author: Charmaine Poriambep

Mori invites NZ to invest in agro sector

COMMERCE and Industry Minister Wera Mori has invited New Zealand to invest in Papua New Guinea’s agriculture sector.

 
Mori went to New Zealand to seek investments in the renewable sector, seek support and networking between co-operatives in PNG and New Zealand in agro industries.

 
He held talks with Cooperatives Business New Zealand, Fonterra Dairies and the New Zealand Business Council.

 
PNG provides the largest market for Fonterra’s dairy products.

 
Mori said Fonterra was looking at increasing its global market share, and was an opportunity for PNG to create the incentives which would attract such a large global player in agribusiness and co-operatives in PNG.

 
Fonterra produces dairy products in New Zealand with 10,500 co-operative farmers.
It is willing to extend its social responsibility to PNG through its one-milk one-child per day programme next year.

 
“Fonterra Dairy produces 22 billion litres of milk annually to supply two billion of its customers around the world,” Mori said.

 
“Such opportunities should be considered in the Sepik plain, Markham Valley, Central and parts of the Highlands.”

 
Co-operative Business New Zealand chief executive officer Craig Presland invited Mori and other government institutions to participate at the week-long summit on Feb 27 next year in Auckland.

Source: The National

Photo Credit: Loop PNG.

Bank PNG signs card deal with Swiss company

THE Bank of Papua New Guinea has signed a contract with the Swiss company BPC Banking Technologies for the supply and installation of a national card and mobile payments switch.

 
It is the first step towards implementing the Retail Electronic Payments System (REPS), an initiative launched by the bank in 2015, as the next phase in the development of the National Payment System and its drive for financial inclusion in PNG.

 
REPS followed the successful implementation of the KATS inter-bank electronic payment system which began in February 2015.

 
BPNG said KATS hads shortened cheque-clearance times and provided electronic direct credits between PNG bank accounts.

 
“By enabling full electronic payments, KATS greatly improved financial services offered by banks to their customers.

 
“It provided the PNG economy with a secure, efficient and reliable domestic payment system and set, a solid foundation for future innovation in payments technology, including growth opportunities for Fintech digital financial services.

 
“REPS will allow microfinance companies and microbanks, Savings and Loans Societies and other smaller financial institutions entry into the NPS to offer plastic card and mobile payment services to their customers, so that more people and businesses will have access to financial services throughout PNG, particularly among the rural areas.”

Source: The National

New political party emerges

A new political party has emerged in the political landscape of the country, branding and shifting other parties to form it.

 

 

Party president and former police commissioner and chief ombudsman, Sir Ila Geno, today announced the formation of the new party – The Alliance – in Port Moresby.

 

The Alliance is borne out of a number of likeminded members of parliament, particularly from the Opposition, consisting of different political parties and Independent MPs.

 

Sir Ila said rule of law, governance and effective public service administration, monitor and check corruption is the core responsibility of The Alliance.

 

“As President I am in close liaison with the Registry of the Political Parties and Candidates Commission to ensure a smooth transition of all the political parties merged to form The Alliance,” Sir Ila stated.

 

Madang MP Bryan Kramer has been recruited to set down the foundation to prepare the new party alongside its president and legal advisor, Nemo Yalo, for launch next year.

 

He said they are in discussion with other high profile members of the opposition to join the party, which will be launched in February 2018.

 

They will be targeting the educated elites using technology and social media platforms.

 

Papua New Guinea has 45 political parties, 22 of which make up the 10th parliament.

 

Eight of those parties are in the Opposition, which consists of 28 members.

Source: Loop PNG

Governor General Thanks Media

 

04:00 PM


BY ROBINSON LEKA

Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae recently delivered his seasonal greetings to members of the media, the government and the people of Papua New Guinea.

 

Sir Bob who will be celebrating his first Christmas as the Vice-Regal thanked the media for playing their part in covering important issues in the country throughout this year.

 

Sir Bob acknowledged the partnership between the media and the Government House this year and was hopeful that this partnership would flourish next year.

 

“You have delivered to the nation, through what happens here at the Government House throughout the year.

 

“I want to thank all of you, the role you have and the work that you play,” said Sir Bob.

 

O’Neill positive for this season

Source: Loop PNG

The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, wishes all Papua New Guineans a Merry Christmas and a safe New Year.

 

“And hopefully everyone has a very safe new year and I want to stress do it in a very orderly manner.

 

“We want to see you next year; we hear a lot of accidents happen during Christmas and New Year.

 

He gave an overview of the country thus far stating some of the challenges his government has faced against these backdrops.

 

“ In 2014, 15 we had a long eight months of drought, we’ve created a lot of stress in our business community and of course our own people.

 

“ In 2015 and 2016 we had a collapse in the commodity prices, things like the oil prices collapse from 110 dollars per barrel again causing a lot of stress and challenges.

 

“ This year we also had prolonged elections which again caused a lot of challenges.

 

“ I know we are coming off these challenges and I am looking forward to 2018 because I think we have turned the corner.

 

“And I have a strong feeling that when global economic prices are improving PNG will do better.

 

“That is why I’m hoping families can truly celebrate Christmas in the spirit of hope and prosperity.

 

Author: Meredith Kuusa

The Govt’s 100 Day Plan Expires Tomorrow(19th December 2017)

 


BY GORETHY KENNETH

The Government’s 100 days 25 Point Plan expires tomorrow (Tuesday) with most of the proposed projects proactively undertaken, Treasurer and Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel have said.

 

And in light of prevailing circumstances the 100 days 25 Point Plan was and is intended to demonstrate proactively and inspire confidence and kick-start the Alotau Accord II by undertaking specific activities around.

 

“Not so long ago I stood here and delivered the 2017 Supplementary Budget that was Point 1 in the 25 Point 100 Day Plan to kick-start the Alotau Accord ll of this coalition government.

 

“The 2018 Budget our first substantive annual budget, is Point 2 of the 100 Day Plan, and will be another illustration of our intention to deliver on our promise to maintain fiscal discipline, grow our revenues, strengthen our economic base, improve governance and act strategically,” Mr Abel said.

 

“Our Government has taken stock following the national elections through a consultative process of engagement with stakeholders from Government, the private sector, development partners and community-based organisations.

 

“This has been important in helping guide our interventions, and in the spirit of partnership we will continue this open engagement.”

 

“These activities obviously roll into Points 1 and 2 of the 25 Point Plan which are the 2017 Supplementary and 2018 Budgets.

 

“The intention in Points 1 and 2 was to maintain fiscal discipline in the light of the prevailing difficult circumstances in terms of our budget parameters of a 2.5% fiscal deficit and debt to GDP of 30% so as not to put more stress on government financing and the economy.

 

“A number of measures were undertaken to maintain this discipline but primarily as per Point 4, and thanks to the understanding of Honourable Members of this Parliament, the Service Improvement Program was reduced in 2017,” he said.

 

Here’s how the 25-Point Plan was carried out and is being implemented now:

 

Point 3 was related to payroll strengthening and the OSPEAC (Organisation Staffing and Personnel Emoluments Committee) has been reactivated and is progressing a payroll audit and cleansing exercise and the MD registration requirement as explained by the Minister for Public Service in Parliament. This is in response to the primary cost escalation factor of Government which is the unsustainable growth in personnel emoluments.

 

Point 5 was for:

 

i) The drawdown of the balance of the Credit Suisse loan of which two technical requirements will have been met following this budget session enabling the final balance to be drawn.

 

ii) To access World Bank and ADB budget support funding for the 2018 budget. This has been achieved following my trip to Washington where the World Bank provides US$100m for debt restructuring in 2018 and another $100m in both 2019 and 2020. The A08 is also providing budget support commencing in 2018 for the health sector of up to US$300m commencing in 2018. These measures provide financial resources on good terms and bring in foreign exchange.

 

Point 6 was for:

 

i) Oil Search to provide a minimum of 50% of the crude oil needs to the Napanapa Refinery and in Kina terms. This has been achieved through an agreement and is happening.

 

ii) Transition to gas-powered electricity the Pom Gas 58MW electricity project has been approved by Cabinet and has commenced construction to provide the cheapest in country power source using our own gas and all sales denominated in Kina. The new power plant will be owned by Oil Search and Kumul Petroleum with shares to be taken up by MRDC. The availability of domestic gas can catalyse other gas-powered initiatives.

 

iii) Rice production the rice quota scheme has been delayed and 3 large scale rice projects are being developed with 3 separate private sector partners with potential support in the 2018 budget through the Agriculture Commercialization Fund.

 

iv) The Bank of Papua New Guinea intervention into the forex market with US$100m is done. The BPNG is also conducting a review of all foreign currency accounts and the obligations of those account holders, particularly resource companies to remit excess funds back to PNG.

 

Point 7 for non-tax revenue collecting agencies to remit 90% of their revenues to CRF has commenced with some immediate action with specific agencies and will be reinforced by the Public Money Management Regularization Bill 2017 approved by Cabinet and to be tabled in conjunction with this Budget.

 

Points 8 and 10 relate to tax regime reform and this is being managed through the new Medium Term Revenue Strategy, developed in conjunction with the IMF and a new Tax Administration Bill which I will bring shortly. Measures will commence in this budget to tidy up the tax code and the BPNG, lRC, IPA and commercial banks are cooperating to enforce compulsory Tax Identification Number requirement for opening bank accounts. The commercial banks have agreed to provide information to the lRC regarding bank accounts being operated in a business manner for further scrutiny.

 

Significant funding support is provided in the 2018 budget for both the IRC and Customs to boost capacity against quantified additional revenue collection.

 

Point 9 was the establishment of the task forces for the IRC, Lands and the Customs and Illicit Trade. Funding has been provided in the Supplementary Budget and the Attorney General, Labour and immigration Ministers are leading the Customs and illicit Trade, Lands Minister the Lands task force and Treasurer the IRC task force.

 

Point 11 is for the progress of some significant resource development projects and; Wapi Golpu, PNG LNG expansion, Papua LNG is all on track for early works, pre FEED or FEED in 2018. Western LNG has announced pre FEED works last month.

 

Point 12 is for the launch of the new Australian DFAT grant-funded projects; the PNG Australia Economic and Social infrastructure Program and ANGAU Hospital re-development design are still pending, and the TB Project co-funded with the World Bank has had the financing documents executed already.

 

Point 13 is the power projects;

 

i) the 58 MW Pom Gas project construction has begun.

 

ii) the 30MW PNG Biomass Project in Markham with Oil Search is in progress.

 

iii) the Ramu 2 180MW Project has had commercial close via a Cabinet decision but is pending financial close due to certain conditions precedent.

 

iv) Naoro Brown River Hydro Project is progressing with funding from the World Bank.

 

v) Hela Gas power solution is being negotiated with Exxon Mobil and Oil Search.  In the meantime, funding is provided in this budget to pull the power “”9 from Mendi to Hides to provide the missing power and NBN telecommunications link to access power to the communities from the Ramu Grid and surplus from the Tari existing generator.

 

Point 14 is certain high impact projects:

 

i) the international submarine cable that the Australian Government has now offered to fund from Sydney to Port Moresby and Port Moresby to Honiara. PNG will own these 100% and 50% respectively and will substantially increase reliability and lower the cost of data into PNG some 25 times.  In the Pacific Marine, Industrial Project has had a new financing agreement sign with the China EXIM Bank, the Sepik Plains agriculture project, together with Baiyer Valley and the Centre.

 

Plains are identified for large-scale rice production as described earlier.

 

Point 15 is the commencement of the US$1 billion upgrade of the Highlands Highway of which the Project Management Unit has been established at Works and contracts have been advertised for supervisory contractors. Work will commence in 2018.

 

Point 16 is the Gerehu 38 Affordable Housing Pilot Project where 1,762 allotments are being made available free to qualifying citizens. The earthworks have been completed and power and water services are now being constructed. Together with the concessional funding at BSP this will make housing accessible to ordinary Papua New Guineans and drive construction and employment. It can provide an example to duplicate in other centres.

 

Point 17 is for the commencement of the new Enga Provincial Hospital construction and Mount Hagen Hospital PPP redevelopment plan in 2018.

 

Point 18 is for the ceasing of closed tender financing which Cabinet has approved and the bringing forward the National Procurement Authority Bill which is ready to come back to Cabinet after changes were requested by Cabinet.

 

Point 19 requires audited accounts for SOEs and Statutory Authorities by mid-2018.

 

As Treasurer I will be tabling all the reports for the Agencies under my responsibility as soon as they are cleared by Cabinet.

 

Point 20 is to have all prescribed Boards appointed. This is underway particularly under the State Enterprises Minister and the Agriculture Minister.

 

Point 21 refers to freeing up resource landowner benefits;

 

i) the PNG LNG landowners vetting issues are ongoing but royalty payments to the plant site landowners have commenced and it is anticipated to shortly resolve the pipeline first payments and progress to the conclusion the clan vetting at the gas fields.

 

ii) the OK Tedi landowner CMCA and Non-CMCA have funds held in Trust that has been cleared by the Courts and I am waiting for advice from the Justice

 

Department to authorise some of the pending contracted works against those funds.

 

Point 22 proposed to suspend proposed amendments to the Lands Act, the lPA Act, the Agriculture Investment Act, the Agriculture Administration Adjustment Act and the Mineral Resources Authority and the Mining Act to allow further consultation. This has been done.

 

Point 23 refers to the National Energy Authority Bill. This should refer to the Petroleum Authority Bill which is being finalised for Parliament.

 

Point 24 refers to progressing the Population Policy and funding has been provided in the 2018 budget under the Sustainable Development Program at Planning for this.

 

Point 25 refers to Medium Term Development Plan3 to be published in 2018. This is the 5-year development plan and indicator targets for the government of the day which will incorporate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Source: Post-Courier

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