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Date Posted: Fri, Oct 10 2008, 01:41:35pm
Tony, i agree with you on this matter. Political rhetorics has take the centre stage in PNG nowadays. The huge tax windfall from mineral tax collected by the government of PNG, if not directed to projects that would benefit the country, but end up in recurrent expenditures would see the country in bad shape in the future.
Since 2004 the government has been running budget surpluses and this has to be channeled to developmental projects rather than recurrent expenditures. NA cant be credited for the recent budget surpluses because there are several factors that come into play that had contributed to the budget surpluses.
One of the main factors is the reforms Sir Mekere took. When he took a bold step in reforming the country, many people objected, however, the fruits of his reforms are seen today. He passed several laws, the most important one was the Banks and Financial Institutions Act and the Central Banking Act of 2000. As a result, financial institutions have been very stable, and it has provided the basic foundation for economic growth.
The other factor that has contributed to the budget surpluses and economic growth has been favorable, prices of PNGs export commodities. As a result of favorable prices, the Government has been able to collect more taxes.
The point is how, the government cant spent this money in productive areas.
PNG is known for its corrupt ways of dealing with projects and delivering sub-standard results. Companies that have bid for projects are either owned by politicians themselves and have conflict of interest or, either owned by someone but, a briefcase has been pushed under the table. Nowadays, project design, implementation and delivery is done by political cronies or either by the politicians own company, as can be evident with most of the major projects in Enga province. In Enga province, most of the major projects have been delivered with sub-standard quality because of conflict of interest.
I think, the politicians have to get their dirty fingers off the projects to see the developmental projects delivered by professionals who are out there to deliver the best because at the end of the day, reputation matters. Political cronies, and would be idiots who end up with projects dont care about reputation in the industry and hence, end up delivering sub-standard results.
Just a few thoughts.
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