Lockdown extended

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But domestic flights to resume from Monday

By GYNNIE KERO
GOVERNMENT has extended the state of emergency for two months, but restrictions on domestic flights will be lifted from Monday.
Prime Minister James Marape, during a special sitting of Parliament yesterday where a K5.6 billion Covid-19 stimulus economic package was announced, said State of Emergency Controller David Manning also had the powers to relax other restrictions where and when necessary.
Marape said the extension of the lockdown was necessary “to ensure that we mitigate potential harm that the spread of the virus may cause”.
It was also to allow Government agencies to implement “urgent and ongoing measures to protect all Papua New Guineans”.
Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey, when tabling the stimulus economic package, said the closing of the borders and restricting the movement of people had serious economic impacts “on tourist facilities, airlines and markets”.
“There are reports of looting in some areas, driven on occasions by increasing hunger from workers laid off jobs,” he said.
“The slowdown in growth and people losing their jobs will lower personal income tax, company income tax and GST (goods and services tax) collections.”
Elements of the economic stimulus package are:

  • issuance of K2.5 billion in Treasury bonds. Ling-Stuckey said: “We are going to market hard for K2.5 billion in domestic financing. There will be an offer of at least K1 billion as early as next week. We need this cash now. We are talking to the banks, superannuation funds and others to support this fundraising. But we also understand that things are very tight for them.”
  • K0.6 billion to support loan repayment holidays. He said: “We know that households and businesses are doing it hard. We welcome the support of our banks in indicating that various forms of mortgage repayment holidays are available for up to three months.”
  • K1.5 billion in foreign assistance which includes K1.26 billion from the International Monetary Fund, K170 million from the Asian Development Bank and K70 million from the World Bank;
  • K0.5 billion in superannuation measures to assist people who have lost their jobs;
  • K0.5 billion for the health, security and economic sectors;
  • K250 million for the health and security response – K175 million for Health, K50 million for Police and K25 million for Defence.

He said K250 million was to support the rural sector, jobs, micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and families.
“Details of these support measures will be announced shortly,” he said. Ling-Stuckey said the Government needed to prepare a Supplementary Budget.
“I have asked the Central Agencies Coordinating Committee (a committee of the secretaries of government departments) to review our budget. We need to find budget cuts to finance the increased needs of the health, security and economic sectors,” he said.
Parliament has been adjourned to June 2.

23 comments

  • Let’s all get together sand pray for our country and ask God to protect our land, Pray that God will given wisdom to our leaders as they make decisions to manage the spread of COVID-19 and also pray that God will all Papua New Guineans in Jesus’s name we pray, Amen

  • PLEASE ACTION THE 3 MONTHS BUFFER ON LOANS LIKE YOU PROMISED, MR. PM.
    SINCE ITS AN SOE, VITAL FOOD ITEMS NEED TO BE STOCKED.

    THANK YOU MR.PM FOR YOUR HELP.

  • Please help us, your citizens with the 3 months buffer on loans, like you said you would for times like this.

  • What about us students.? Are we resuming classes and will the public motor vehicles within provinces be lifted as well? .. Please Hon. Brian Kramer, authorize certain govt or security vehicles to help families do their emergency shopping at Madang town every weekend. Daily life of providing for families through informal ways is getting tough and thugs in between Round about and Meiro bridge are taking advantage to rob families walking back from town with shopping bags.

  • Lets all not be greedy. We must forgo and sacrifice some things.
    Banks need to extend loan loan terms and reduce interest.
    Shops must not take advantage of the situation.
    Real estate businesses must relax rental payments.
    Employers must pay people who have been laid off as a result of the SOE.
    We all need to do our bit.
    People in the informal sector are the worst affected in terms of survival. How will they be bailed out as part of the economic stimulus package? What is the plan?

  • All businesses in Goroka laying off workers in the process of scale- down should take into consideration the Stimulus Package offered by the government and address layoff workers accordingly. I have heard several comments made by wage earners that business owners are giving them straight on point- blank advise that there is no money to pay them and that they should be layed off for an indefinite period. How are they supposed to support their families and where is your (business houses) back-up funds to accommodate them(your faithful , hard-working and productive workers) during these time of SOE?. Workers who are directly affected should be included in the Stimulus Package by your employer and should be made known to the controller through the toll free number 1800200 provided so authorities can communicate with your employer to assist you in these regard.

    Thank you

  • Total lockdown down extended means uprise of unrest in areas where there’s high dependency on cash economy. What is the plan now?

  • So with all this stimulus packages handed out to businesses in the country, I’d like to know what’s happened to the 200 million kina promised by the Marape Steven Government to the PNG SMEs in country?

    That 200 million in the 2020 National Budget needs to be given to the SMEs more than ever now. We need an SME stimulus package too!

    With large volumes of unemployment from big corporations with massive overheads, they will not be able to recruit individuals for at least another 2 years. Our PNG SMEs will be positioned to employ this vast volume of labor force that will be left idol.

    @empoweringpngentrepreneurs

  • Ralph Makaen- i do agree, this Pandemic is a test to human kind humility and considerations. Privileged and opportunists wealth gaps widened. This time is to give freely and sit back and wait for double returns.

  • I totally agree with the National Parliament undivided decision to extend by two months the SOE to stop Covid-19 entering our country. I convey my gratitude and respect to all the members of the National Parliament for what they have done. Thank so much We love you all.

  • People losing their job is a sad thing, such should have been prevented, if only, we have taken measures, since the day one out break in China, covid 19.
    I concur with Hon Jerry Juffa, some family are surviving from daily income.
    People losing their jobs is a great sad news and loss in the family. In which government may not sort it out for individual…

  • The time of crisis is also a time of test and trial for the whole world and smaller nations in particular. It’s a time for sacrifice for every single citizen, whether rich or poor, whether famous or not, whether politician, businessman or grassroot. And it’s a time of solidarity and for solidarity. Let us see how we will be passing this test as a nation.

  • Retail stores and especially pharmacies can help out by buying plenty of hand sanitizer and selling it in their stores. We are thankful for those stores who make hand sanitizer available to their customers at the entrance. They are providing a good service that can help to prevent the spread of Corona virus.

  • Government needs to reduce PSIP and DSIP Funds for 2020 budget for economically sovereign to face the challenges ahead. The funds will have no benefits in our community because our leaders are too selfish thus
    funds will be a total wasteful and that government will have empty outcomes when budget review is made the following year (2021).

  • Correction……. The 2 months extension is for State of Emergency (SoE) ONLY.
    The ‘Lockdown’ was/ is only for the14 days – up to & until (to be lifted) on Monday/ Tuesday 7th April 2020.
    Repoter/ Editor – note the difference for accurate reporting.

  • May Government allow both employees who are working and been laid off, to withdrew their savings from NASFUND and so forth, it doesn’t mean people who are still working are doing fine its a big NO NO every one is affected by this lock down due to this World Wide Deadly Disease (Corona virus) . Hence, please may Government allow both people who are laid off as well as people who are still working, otherwise people will resign to have their funds, we all need money to survive at this point of time.

  • As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure” . Let’s all be patient and cope up with the government plans and strategies.. don’t you know that the virus is killing millions? They are not animals those are human being dying…

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