GDP growth only 2.8%, says planner

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, June 14, 2011

PAPUA New Guinea has only seen a real gross domestic product (GDP) average growth yearly of 2.8% since independence because of short-term and disjointed plans, a senior public servant says.
Acting senior specialist with the National Planning and Monitoring Department’s macro planning division, Charlie Paki said several factors had influenced this as well as unexpected spending.
He said PNG had seen an increase in law and order problems, deteriorating infrastructure, poor health services, high transport costs, declining education standards and incompetent public servants, among others.
Paki said an attempt to address these was through  the development and implementation of Vision 2050, the medium-term development goals and other plans that would minimise problems.
He said the government was looking at unlocking land for development where only 20% was being alienated, improving law and justice and the health sector and establishing a quality national transport corridor.
He said the government was planning to improve education and other sectors that would help to boost development.
Paki said they were looking at addressing lawlessness by increasing the police force to 24,000, which would take the ratio of officers to people to one for every 400 people.
He said the government was creating job opportunities for people and that would see more people employed by 2015.
He said implementation of the plans would cost billions of kina and these funds would be sourced from donor agencies, other partners and avenues as well as the government.
Paki said the Vision 2050 and medium term development goals were much criticised.
He said the government was sure of its aims and status and had already started addressing them.
Meanwhile, Consultative Implementation Monitoring Council executive officer Majorie Andrew said it was good that criticisms were directed at government departments, local MPs and those in authority as they helped them to make better decisions.
The two were speaking last Thursday during CIMC’s highlands development forum that discussed how to create more employment opportunities.