Tag Archives: Richard Maru

Government to leave for India

Source: Loop PNG

The Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Richard Maru, is set to lead an official PNG delegation fact finding mission to India from December 11-15, 2017.

 

The high profile Government delegation includes senior state ministers in the likes of the Minister for Education, Nick Kuman, Minister for Inter-Government Relations, Kevin Isifu, Minister for Information, Communication, Technology and Energy, Sam Basil, and Governor for West New Britain, Sasindran Muthuvel.

 

Other senior government officials traveling with the delegation include Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato and acting registrar general of the Civil and Identity Registry, Michael Kumung.

 

Reiterating that a key focus of the O’Neill-Abel Government is to grow the economy, Minister Maru said the delegation is going to seek business opportunities and technical assistance from India to support PNG’s development agenda.

 

Minister Maru added that the Government is also working to ensure that support exists for sectors such as energy, information and communication technology (ICT), health, education, law and justice and capacity development.

 

The training of Papua New Guinea’s human resources and development of research capabilities are also critical in this endeavour.

“India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and one that has demonstrated success. The PNG delegation mission will look at how best we can replicate and harness some of the positive pathways that India has taken and can offer to PNG,” Minister Maru said.

Author: Press release

Maru Confident Budget Will Sustain Economic Growth

Source: Post – Courier

 

BY GORETHY KENNETH

National Planning Minister Richard Maru is more than convinced that the 2018 Budget will enhance the preconditions for sustainable economic growth in the short to medium term.

Mr Maru said that for the first time in many years, the Government has increased the economic sector funding from 6 percent in 2017 to 15 percent in the 2018.

He said this confirmed to the Alotau Accord 2 to make economic growth the number one priority.

He said the aggregate 2018 Capital Investment Budget is K4,643.92 million. This shows an increase of 15.7 percent compared to the 2017 original budget appropriation. He said the Budget was strategically focused to invest in enhancing the preconditions for economic growth and prosperity, which will build on the remaining few years of O’Neill Government.

“This Government will mobilise necessary resources within the tight fiscal envelope to provide growth conditions to set the pace for future growth and development. The 2018 Capital investment Budget consolidate key interventions that will encourage business activities, generate employment, increase both export and tax revenues, replace import, and broaden and diversify our economic base strengthening renewable sectors and manufacturing.

“The commodity price fluctuations in the global market have had an adverse effect in our economy in the last three years and in my view we as Government have done very little in addressing the declining trend. If the global commodity price remains suppressed over the medium term with no new projects in the mining and petroleum sectors coming on stream over the same period, our country will continue to face fiscal constraints, prolonged current foreign exchange problems, which will affect the Government’s ability to effectively deliver public goods and services to our people.

“The 2018 National Budget provides the appropriate response of this Government to the current domestic and global economic challenges, focusing on the new measures to stimulate the broad-based economic growth while maintaining fiscal and macroeconomic stability.

“To arrest the declining trend in economic growth, some deliberate attempts were made by this Government particularly to ease the current cash-flow problem with the 100 Day Plan and also the proposed Bill on the Public Money Management arrangement. While these revenue raising measures are important, this Government is looking at sustainable growth measures.”

 

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Hand over management to Water PNG: Maru

The Eastern Highlands Governor has been asked to talk to the Goroka Town Council to relinquish the management of water supply to Water PNG.

 

Planning Minister Richard Maru gave the task to Peter Numu after responding to his questions in Parliament yesterday.

 

Maru pointed out that the current concern of the government in regards to the issue with the Goroka water system is in light of APEC meets earmarked for the Eastern Highlands provincial town.

 

He said Goroka is the only town in the country that has its water supply controlled by the town council.

 

“I have written to the Governor to convince the town council and hand over the management of the water supply to Water PNG,” stated Maru.

 

He said the Government wanted the town’s safety and hygiene to be of World Health Organization standard.

 

“Safety and hygiene are very vital as we are preparing to host an APEC meeting in Goroka.”

Author: Freddy Mou via Loop PNG

Commodity Boards warned

 

23rd November 2017.

Commodity Boards in PNG have been warned to perform or else will not receive funding from 2019 onward.

 

Planning and Monitoring Minister, Richard Maru, issued the warning on Wednesday during the inaugural National Agriculture Summit.

 

Maru said he wanted to see a high performance culture as well as good governance practise instilled in all commodity boards.

 

He said millions of kina had been squandered by some commodity boards despite continuous government funding over the years.

 

Minister Maru said under his watch, any commodity board that does not perform well and is not accountable for the funds it uses will not receive any further funding after 2018.

 

“We must overhaul the boards. And we will only support that boards that perform deliver value, have a good corporate governance structure, and can show us the funds are managed well.

 

“Only performers will continue to receive government funding.

 

“If we are funding you and your industry is declining in output and production we have a problem. We should get that resource from you and give it to another sector that’s performing,” said Maru.

-Author: Cedric Patjole

-Via Loop PNG.-

Campaign to target violence towards females

22nd  November 2017

The Inap Nau campaign which is aimed at reducing violence against women and girls in Papua New Guinea was recently launched in Port Moresby.

 

The campaign will focus on youths to be the agents of change within our communities by promoting non-violent conflict resolutions within households and community.

 

OxFam which is behind the campaign, highlighted that PNG is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman or a girl.

 

PNG in 2014 was ranked 140 out of 155 countries in the world in terms of the Gender Inequality under the Human development Index.

 

This equated to about 2 thirds of women in PNG experiencing physically and sexually abuse.

 

Unfortunately in PNG, Domestic violence against women and girls is perceived normal and most members of the society accept this behavior as being part of our culture.

 

This is what the Inap Nau campaign will advocate against.

 

Meantime, Minister for National Planning, Richard Maru at the official launching of the campaign said the government must get behind this campaign.

Author: Jemimah Sukbat via Loop PNG

Maru singles out regulation of electricity industry

Source: The National

10th November 2017

 

By LUKE KAMA 
NATIONAL Planning and Monitoring Minister Richard Maru says a different body needs to regulate the electricity industry.

 
He said the cost of electricity in the country was among the highest in the world.

 
He gave K3.5 million yesterday to PNG Power Limited to install a transmission line from Popondetta to Girua Airport in Northern.

 
“I can say that the cost of electricity in Papua New Guinea is one of the highest in the world,” Maru said.

 
“And the challenge is how we, as a country, can make electricity cheap so that most of our people can have access to electricity, because it is sad that almost 80 per cent of our people are still without access to electricity.”

 
He challenged PNG Power to come up with strategic reforms which would use the rentable energy sectors.
“Producing electricity through generators using diesel is very expensive,” Maru said.
“We need to do away with that and move to renewable energy sources so that we can reduce the cost. That reduction can be passed onto the consumers to access cheaper electricity.”

 

 

Government Aims To Strengthen Partnership

 

Source: Post-Courier

BY ZEBEDEE GIAME

Papua New Guinea is working towards integrating the efforts of developmental partners into the planning spectrum, says Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Richard Maru.

 
He said the national government is committed to strengthening existing development partnerships that are in line with the government’s plans and development strategies.
“We are stepping to a more coordinated and strategic partnership with development partners,” Mr Maru said.

 
He said growing the economy is the government’s focus in the medium term, thus all elements of development needed to be steered towards the venture.

 
Mr Maru said as part of planning towards this government focus, maintenance of roads is critical to achieving the economic growth agenda of the government.

 
Works Minister Michael Nali said the major focus of the government is implementing a well structured maintenance program to ensure the current 4000 km of national roads are in good condition and do not deteriorate quickly.

 
He said the maintenance backlog over the years requires K3b to clear out and also build new highways and missing road links.

 
Works is working to upgrade another 1000 km of national roads.

PNG’s Self-Sufficiency Drive Offers Openings For Agri-Industry

 
 
 
October 31, 2017
Via: Post-Courier
 
 
After being returned to office following the National Elections in Papua New Guinea earlier this year, the government of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has stepped up its drive to improve food sustainability and reduce foreign exchange outflows.
 
The administration’s focus on import replacement and food self-sufficiency should create opportunities for the food processing industry, in particular, encouraging investment in downstream capacity.
 
The government plans to place investment funds, to be dispersed through the Supplementary Budget, with the state-owned agriculture investment company, Kumul Agriculture, which can then partner with local and international investors.
Richard Maru, Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, told local media in September that the entity is soon expected to start receiving funds to invest in the sector.
 
According to local media, the plan to establish a state-owned investment vehicle for agriculture was first mentioned in 2015.
 
Government to mobilise investment funds, target agriculture. In particular, the government is looking to curb the island nation’s sizeable food import bill – reported to be as high as PGK4bn ($1.3bn) per year – by expanding the agriculture sector.
While PNG is self-sufficient in many fresh or semi-processed foodstuffs – rice being the key exception – it has to import much of its processed food, both for human consumption and livestock feed.
Speaking to local media at the end of August, Charles Abel, DeputyPrime Minister and Treasurer, said that the rice import bill was the second-highest consumer of foreign exchange in PNG, after the fuel import bill.
Loi Bakani, governor of the Bank of PNG, also highlighted import costs as being a top concern.
“In particular, I am concerned about food imports, because it constitutes the highest demand for foreign exchange and it is not matched by any foreign exchange revenue from food exports,” he told an investment conference in Sydney, Australia, in mid-September.
 
Courting downstream agriculture investment to generate export potential
In addition to boosting primary production, PNG is seeking investors in downstream value-added processing, which could create export potential.
Palm oil and coffee, among others, have been cited as examples, with processed goods both easier to freight than fresh, and able to generate far higher returns.
“We have water and very fertile land,” Mr Maru told local media in mid-September.
“What we have to do now is to mobilise the land, and then find investors who have the technology and the capital to partner (with) us to start investment in commercial agriculture in a very significant way.”
 
Recent investment in value-added growth areas. The agro-processing industry is already seeing an increase in investments that should help reduce the food import bill and improve sustainability.
Agri-business firm, Innovative Agro Industries, is currently developing a K130m ($40.6m) dairy farm and processing facility outside Port Moresby, with production set to begin in November. When fully operational next year, the 5m-litre annual output from the plant is expected to cut up to K400m ($124.7m), or 10%, from PNG’s import bill.
An even larger investment is taking shape in West Sepik Province, around 30km from the Indonesian border. Chinese investors signed a memorandum of understanding last December with the PNG Government to develop a $3.8bn industrial park. Along with an industrial hub for processing steel and cement, the project – described as a long-term venture – features a processing cluster focused on fish, cassava, tropical spices and timber.
Fish is an area where PNG has significant potential for value-added processing. The country’s 2.5m-sq-km exclusive economic zone is home to roughly 18% of the global tuna supply, according to a 2013 report by Pacific Tuna Forum, and an estimated 750,000 tons of the fish is caught each year in PNG waters.
While this represents a raw value of around $1.5bn, most of the value creation occurs during processing, which takes place offshore. Countries such as the Philippines and China generated an estimated K30bn ($9.4bn) in added value by processing raw tuna exports from PNG, the Manufacturers Council of PNG reported.
 
Agro-processing agenda part of broader bid to industrialise
Promoting value-added agriculture forms part of a broader national effort to increase industrial capacity in PNG.
Speaking at a recent conference on financial inclusion and innovation, Wera Mori, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, said the government aimed to restructure the economy so that 70% of gross domestic product (GDP) was generated by sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries and forestry, with the latter three all having strong downstream potential.
To help achieve this goal, Mr Mori said the government would move to improve access to credit, introduce regulatory and supervisory reforms, and further promote micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Special economic zone eyed for Manus

Source: The National

THE Government will develop a special economic zone on Manus to address job and internal revenue losses following the shutdown of the asylum refugee center.

 
National Planning and Monitoring Minister Richard Maru, pictured, said internal revenue for Manus would decrease from K25 million to K1.5 million per annum following the closure.

 
“About 1200 jobs will be lost, 100 small-to-medium enterprises will go out of business,” he said.
“The Government will set a special economic zone for Manus.

 
“We will put money in the 2018 budget to start the marine park on the west coast of Manus.

 
“We will also put money to plant 40,000 rubber trees on Manus.
“Most areas have been logged.

 
“We took stock of this.

 
“We now need to find investors to go into Manus to put up the fish (tuna) plant.”
The minister was responding to Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin on the Government’s fall-back plan for Manus as some refugees had already began the island province.

K4 Billion Spent On Food Imports Annually

Source: Post – Courier

 

09:00AM 


 

PNG continues to spend K4 billion in food imports each year announced Minister for National Planning & Monitoring and Member for Yangoru-Saussi Richard Maru recently.

 

 

“But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Government will focus on replacing food imports from here onwards and the Sepik Plains is high on our list of priorities,” said Maru.

 

 

Maru said this after a recent visit to the Sepik plains with Israeli investors set to develop East Sepik through an Innovative Agro-Industry. The Innovative Agro Industry will develop an egg-laying farm, broiler meat farm, and grain production. The developer will also establish a modern cocoa plantation using Israeli technology that will produce 400 to 500 percent more yield than an average cocoa plantation.

 

 

CEO of the PNG Cocoa Board, Mr. Kautu Boutua, said with the partnership of Innovative Agro-Industry, the Board is keen to see a different result with the new technology and a new way of approaching agriculture development.

 

 

“LR Group is waiting for the Government’s equity contribution of K14 million in the joint venture between the State and the LR Group before work commences. We are going to include that in the Supplementary Budget in the next two weeks,” Minister Maru said.

 

 

The project is expected to create thousands of jobs for locals and promote wealth creation. The project will also consist of a state-of-the-art training facility that will provide training and extension services to all the farmers in the area.