Where are we going, PNG?


OUR country, no doubt, is one of the resource-rich nations in the Asia Pacific region, but the overall development outlook does not seem to reflect that.
Even though it has been well over 40 years since we gained independence in 1975, not everyone in this country receives basic and reliable government services.
In fact, Papua New Guinea is still developing, and we all should help develop our nation because our government can’t do it alone.
Given our vast resources and that we have been independent for more than four decades, the country should already have achieved major changes and developments.
It is frightening to note that PNG’s economy is too small and insufficient to accommodate and fund the needs of our people. Our current government, through Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Richard Maru, said past governments’ reliance on non-renewable resources was the biggest mistake.
If this is the case, then it simply means that the current intervention by our government through its medium-term development strategy (MTDT 2018-2022) and policy shift from non-renewable to the renewable sector, will see Papua New Guinea struggle for another 10 to 15 years before we can see the real changes.
Policies do not materialise overnight. It takes time to achieve results.
Our country’s fiscal navigation shows that spending supersedes the country’s financial capability and this is bad for a young nation like PNG.
Our government has no choice but to keep borrowing to address shortfalls.
Which way are we heading now?
Papua New Guinea is operating beyond its financial leverage and as a result it is badly looped into a serious debt trap.

Hanam Bill Sandu