Amendments to bank act bad for country


THE debate between the former chief secretary Issac Lupari and Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey and others joining in on the Government’s amendment to the Bank of Papua New Guinea Act provides us the pros and cons to the single most important issue – potentially affect the life of the country’s economy and its people.
In simple terms, the Government has directly undone what former prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta worked so hard to insulate the country’s “money bank” from political interference.
The Bank of Papua New Guinea is the key to financial stability because of its control over currency, credit and overseas transactions, a role which requires political independence.
Any thinking Papua New Guinean and those who appreciate Sir Mekere’s efforts can easily pick apart bad governance, especially when one is reaping off the safety net leaving the Central Bank open to undue influence.
That is a cardinal sin which no government since the Mekere reforms would ever do.
Our top ever financial guru, the late Sir Mekere, is probably turning in his grave.
It might help if we perhaps understand who Sir Mekere was and the underlying intent of his reforms at that time and juxtapose with the Marape government.
Sir Mek, as he is commonly known, was an exceptional and politically-astute economist.
Three decades of experience – as one of PNG’s first economists, as PNG’s first Finance secretary, as the first Papua New Guinean managing director of the PNG Banking Corporation, as the governor of the Central Bank, as a private businessmen, as an opposition MP, and as a minister – meant he was uniquely placed to understand the economic problems facing PNG, diagnose their underlying causes and decide how to fix them.
Sir Mekere’s reputation and standing both prior to politics and in politics can be better described as a giant oak in a forest.
Sir Mekere reformed the economic and fiscal management, governance, restoration of institutional credibility and sustainability in public finance, superannuation fund management and others.

David Lepi