PM: Covid affecting economy

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THE global economic contraction as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected Papua New Guinea as well, Prime Minister James Marape says.
Marape said PNG was part of the global economy and when the global economy contracted, the country would be affected.
He said the Government had taken measures to assist businesses through the difficult time through the availability of loans.
Marape said the Government had put money into the districts and provinces through the district and provincial services improvement programme funds.
He said development was still taking place in the districts.
“We are using Government funding through the budget to ensure construction taking place and activities are continuing to the best of our ability,” he said. “We are using the budget for 2021 as a tool for Government to ensure that our economy remains active.”
Giving an example, he said due to the Covid-19, the gaming sector, which employed around 5,000 Papua New Guineans, had been hard hit with closure and then restarting.
He said the bigger threat of the Covid-19 to the country was the damage it was doing to the economy and employment.
“Covid-19 is real, it is here affecting our country and our economy from where you are in the community level to where I sit as the head of our Government,” he said.
Marape urged citizens not to be complacent and to do their part by observing the Covid-19 safety protocols.
He said vaccination was an important part of the strategy to address Covid-19 related issues and urged the people, especially frontline workers to take the vaccine.

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