13 Mar 2003

PNG dismissive of critical report, author to be investigated

5:49 pm on 13 March 2003

The Papua New Guinea government has rejected a report by an Australian think tank depicting a gloomy future for PNG for failing to take into account policies introduced to turn the country around.

The Chief Secretary to the Government, Joshua Kalinoe, says efforts have been made to solve infrastructure problems, build up the commodities and mineral industries and attract foreign investment.

In a report, called "Papua New Guinea on the Brink", the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney described PNG as a nation wracked with corruption, crime and a disintegrating infrastructure.

Mr Kalinoe says the report should've outlined what the government is doing to tackle PNG's social and economic problems.

"The government is taking steps to overcome this problem, that's something this paper has not highlighted. Within six months, the kina has doubled as we are now, pumping more money into infrastructure development. We are giving consideration now to the agriculture sector. The government found that the industry that really needs some resurrection is mining and petroleum. We have done that in the budget, we now investors from the US and Canada."

Mr Kalinoe says one of the co-authors, Mike Manning who is the director of PNG's Institute of National Affairs, will be investigated by the Privileges Committee.