By REBECCA KUKU
THE Papua New Guinea economy is resilient enough to withstand the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Finance Minister Rainbo Paita.
Paita told The National yesterday that despite the effect of the Covid-19 on the global economy and trade, the country had done well comparatively.
“Trade has come to a major halt, but the country’s economy is resilient and the Government is doing its best to ensure the economy stays resilient,” Paita said.
“Comparatively speaking, Papua New Guinea has managed to hold its fort.”
Paita said the Government had recently been looking for more cash “simply because a lot of the programmes for the Covid-19 was not budgeted for”.
“So we had to make some (adjustments) during these trying times.
“Productivity has dropped and the nominal cash flow has not been that great,” he said.
“But we are holding on, and doing our best.”
He said the James Marape-led Government’s intervention had been great and “we are confident that we will carry the country forward towards the end of the year”.
Paita said “the Government has negotiated a win-win situation on the Porgera mine and had recently signed (documents regarding) the Wafi-Golpu project”.
“We also have the Pasca Gas Project (in Gulf).
“So there are structural reforms that we are making,” he said.
“And there are also changes, like the government is moving away from being just rent collectors and negotiating for scraps.”
Paita slammed the overseas and local media “for misreporting that the Government was nationalising projects in the country”.
“The integrity of the foundation must always be checked and so we will only do business with those who have the best interest of the country at heart.”
By REBECCA KUKU