Loans needed to spur growth

Main Stories, National
The National,Thursday June 2nd, 2016

INTERNATIONAL loans are needed to develop and grow the economy for a brighter and prosperous future, Finance Minister James Marape says.
He said the ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) party needed to deliver on its 2012 general election promises before they could face the voters in next year’s elections..
Marape was speaking in Parliament yesterday during debate on the National Planning Minister Charles Abel’s plan to monitor the Government performance.
“We have delivered within this financial constraint of our revenue that we have today.
“International economists had always discouraged us from getting loans. And what to you do? You just sit back and don’t let your kids get educated?
“Not to build hospitals? Not to build roads and infrastructure in rural areas? And from where do you get your money, given this current economic crisis?
“You have to educate your society today. You have to build roads, you have to keep the population healthy today.
“And as a responsible Government, we will not sit back and take criticisms from people drinking coffee in Port Moresby,” he said.
Marape said the O’Neill Government had “the heart for our children” to give them a good future just like in developed countries.
“To get there, you must train, educate, equip and build roads today.
“That is what you must do. You look at the Australian economy.  From 1945 to 1978, they were financing deficit budgets.
“Today, due to an accumulation of deficit budget they now sit at 218 per cent debt to gross domestic product.
“They built an infrastructure that is sustaining their economy today through sustainable debt financing,” he said.
Marape said PNC was mandated by the people in 2012 to deliver what they have promised to them during the election.
“And we have delivered in the 2013, 2014, 2015 and half way through the 2016 National budgets.
“Free education, basic health care, improved infrastructure, law and order and growing the economy.
“And by the end of this year, parents shall have saved a total of K2.4 billion during the past four years when they should have paid school fees.
“Instead, they used that money to grow the small-to-medium enterprise activities to earn money and improve their living conditions.
“Now, that is direct micro-economy, getting money straight from the National Government,” Marape said.
The finance minister added that by the end of this year, all governors and MPs shall have received a total of K4.665 billion for their provincial support improvement programmes (PSIP) and district support improvement programmes (DSIP).
Marape said funding for the two programmes began in 2013.

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