PNG govt garners praise for new openness

2:35 pm on 25 September 2017

The Papua New Guinea government's new approach to be more open about the economy has been welcomed.

Economist Paul Flanagan

Economist Paul Flanagan Photo: ANU

A director of Indo-Pacific Public Policy and Economics, Paul Flanagan, was commenting after an interim report put out by the International Monetary Fund following a visit to PNG earlier this month was made up public.

He said, in the past, the PNG government had delayed the release of such documents.

Mr Flanagan said that this had been done indicated the new Treasurer, Charles Abel, intends to be more transparent than the previous PNG government.

He called it a very positive message.

"And in the case of the IMF it really is the international umpire that can come in and give a more unbiased view as to how economies are going than governments often can. So I think it is a very positive development and a long way from their attempts to suppress the IMF report we saw last year."

The IMF said the coming supplementary budget would not bring government accounts into balance.

It called for cuts to the public service and the district service grants.

But Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has released a statement promising there will be a balanced budget and that there will be no cuts to the district grants.

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