PNG at risk of high-debt distress: Treasurer

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PAPUA New Guinea is now classified by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank at risk of high-debt distress, says Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey.
“As a businessman, I do not like debt,” Ling-Stuckey said.
“Even if it can be serviced easily and quickly, it still remains a measured approach, over and over, until a decision is made.
“I wish PNG had much lower debt levels.
“But the mathematical realities are that the huge budget deficits in (past) years added massively to PNG’s debt.
“The 13-year repair plan set out in the 2022 Budget offers a path forward.
“Steady, responsible, responsive budget repair and reconstruction.
“We have a path forward to give the new Parliament the option of removing all debt, by all governments, incurred since Independence.
“PNG is now classified by the IMF and World Bank at risk of high-debt distress.
“But the level is considered sustainable based on current policies, according to the IMF and World Bank.”
He said under the 13-year budget repair and reconstruction plan set out in the 2022 Budget, there was the possibility of repaying PNG’s debt by 2034.
“With budget repair, a growing economy and a return to budget surplus by 2027, it is estimated by the IMF that the debt-to-GDP ratio will fall to 37.5 per cent by 2027, and then to under 30 per cent by 2030.”

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