State firms owe K5bil

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GOVERNMENT-owned businesses owe more than K5 billion, debts which must be refinanced, says Minister for State Enterprises Sasindran Muthuvel.
He said no Papua New Guinean would be proud of these businesses which over the years had been allowed to deteriorate because of “poor leadership, political interference and bad commercial decisions”.
“It’s a debt that we cannot afford, and it must be refinanced and restructured,” he said.
“Selling our State-owned assets is the last resort and one that we do not consider lightly.
“There are options being considered to refinance our debt position.
“We must be open to all options.
“The decisions made by the board of directors responsible and approved by National Executive Council will be done with the best interests of the SOE and the people.
“And if we are forced to sell some assets, then it will be done for the benefit of future business.”
Muthuvel said the restructure and refinancing of the SOEs would deliver competent affordable services for the benefit of citizens, while delivering a return on investment to the State.
“By achieving this, we will have developed valued companies from our SOEs that will be worthy of domestic institutional investment, such as the superannuation funds which will be keen to promote our goals of partial and full privatisation.
“I want SOEs that our citizens can be proud of, that our employees are proud of, that play a vital role in the future of our country.
“We have begun programmes to merge the operations of some SOEs to improve productivity and reduce duplication, (for example) Water PNG and Eda Ranu, and Telikom and bmobile.
“We are removing the waste.
“We are managing through these situations on the back of the Covid-19 restrictions, which are still severely affecting Air Niugini.
“In everything that is being considered, we are mindful of our loyal employees and their welfare, our service delivery and valued customers, and the shareholder and stakeholders,” Muthuvel said.


  • Suggest the Government to Hire Well Qualified Professional expatriates who will have vast experiences in the field of those FAILED SOES to Lead those SOES and see what will be the outcome? Its a shame to us Papua New Guineans, since, we are not able to manage SOES profitably, for the benefit of our country and the people.

  • The damage to our economy is big and to rectify it through measures considered by the MP & minister for SOE is option pending actioning. This country PNG is built upon Christian values delivered down by our forefathers who had first contact with the early missionaries accepting the Faith in Jesus Christ. Yet unfortunately our generation is so evil in our hearts that we’ve deteriorated this through greed , dishonesty and self centeredness. It all starts with the heart of man.

  • For SOEs to make profit:

    1.) Ensure a highly qualified CEO is heading the organization, prefer promotion from within the SOE itself,

    2.) Ensure a highly qualified Managing Director is heading the organization, prefer expatriate with years of experience withing the industry of the SOE

    3.) NEC to give opportunity to SOE CEO to propose improvement/expansion projects based on submissions by Divisional Heads within the SOE,

    4.) NEC to approve submissions by SOE heads

    5.) NEC must not influence/or force change of SOE head every few months affecting the progress of projects, and delaying approval of vital projects to benifit or prevent risk within the SOEs,

    6.) NEC to provide support for SOEs by making it mandatory for major developers foreign/domestic to have vital services provided by SOEs included in any new development

    7.) NEC to advise Government not to get any free services during major events such as APEC,

    These are just my thoughts, I see that the government is happy to reduce prices off services, but not really providing support for SOE improvement/expansion projects.

  • Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation was once upon a time a white elephant, just like our current failing SOE’s untill it was privatized into what is now known as BSP. BSP is now one of the best performing home grown companies, that has conquered the Pacific and now Asia. Privatize all SOEs but the state can still hold interest in them and be paid dividends.

  • All in support, candidate to have no ties no what so ever. An experienced manager who’s sole goal is to pure business.

    Go in and weed out all those lazy overpaid employees who just sit and do nothing, employ young energetic, enthusiastic individuals who has the drive to bring change. Enough of wantok system.

  • Every incoming Ministers are so quick to point out the issues that needs to be addressed so SOE and be profitable, however no minister has pioneered in fixing those. On this note, Mutuvel is just another minster.

  • Who owes the K5 billion.? SOEs should not be inferred by any organizations or government. SOEs belongs to the people and any profits should be invested to the people by way of building infrastructure or services.

    When leaders are corrupt, middle managers, down to the tea boys also want to fit themselves at administrative level and that where PNG is now.

  • With all these millions and billions of loans and debts we hear every now and then, Who is at fault? You leaders have been doing illegal things while we (people) have suffered too long. When will these stop? When will this country change and people live a better and successful life that God wants us to live and enjoy. Please! Leaders, get your heads together and speak one language for us, Papua New Guinean. Please God help us….??!

  • provocative report.
    BUT why no names of the companies that are owed this amoun
    Who are they?
    How much owed?
    When did the debt arise?
    What goods or services were supplied?
    Why haven’t the companies gone to court over?

    Or is it merely part of the USA capitalist neo-con philosophy wanting to get their grubby hands on states’ assets

    MP for Newport, Wales, inUK Parliament yesterday Govt paid over over £1700 pound per head to track and trace by private companies
    Welsh Govt paid £32 per head by Local Govt test track.

  • Who owns the state entities? government.
    Who is the government? people
    Who is go to pay this 5 billion? the people, the tax payers..
    Aren’t those state entities supposed to generate income to subsidise the government budget or being a liabilities which are being fed again by the taxes.. simply sell them off to private companies, so that the could pay tax to the government, state own entities should contribute to the national purse not the opposite..

  • We can have the best qualified and highly educated professionals to run those SOEs but if they have a corrupted heart, we will still have the same problems.

    We really need to source people who are honest, transparent, accountable, disciplined, and most importantly, God fearing attitude to manage those government owned businesses.

  • The government is saying that the SOEs owes a lot. Some of this SOEs were blindly purchased knowing very well that they were unprofitable. Now lets have them sold cheaply.

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