O’Neill refutes claims by PM on loans

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FORMER Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, pictured, says the State’s entire debt level is around K24 billion which includes borrowing from banks such as Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank and Exim Bank.
O’Neill refuted claims yesterday by Prime Minister James Marape that PNG had loaned from China K27 billion in his time.
“I have seen the press release by the PM claiming that K27 billion loans were received from China during the O’Neill-government, it is misleading and incorrect,” he said.
“The largest debt is from domestic borrowings from the central bank through short-term Treasury Bills which are quite expensive and needs to be replaced.
“The total debt has being accumulated over the past 44 years, since independence, and not by a single government. My recollection is that total Chinese debt is around K5 billion which started with the Somare government and continued to date.
“Our GDP is growing each year and compared to many, many nations around the world, our debt levels are sustainable at around 35 per cent of GDP and we have a proud record of never defaulting.”

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