Ling-Stuckey: K5.7B Economic Recovery, Health Funds Protect the Economy

by PNG Business News - August 16, 2021

The K5.7 billion economic recovery and health fund, according to Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey, was utilized to preserve the budget and the economy, with the overarching goal of protecting the people.

He mentioned this in the Parliament chamber while debating the new normal perspex solution layout, a measure to limit the development of the Covid-19 epidemic, according to a report given by the permanent parliamentary committee on National Parliament.

According to Ling-Stuckey, the government, like all other countries, has experienced several problems as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, and they had to adjust their budget last year, resulting in a revised income of around K2.7 billion.

He stated that because of the pandemic's severe problems, they expect to cut sales by another K2 billion this year.

He stated that the public has many worries about how the K5.7 billion economic and health response monies are being spent.

He stated that he would make a ministerial statement for the good of the country, but that the money would be used to preserve the budget and the economy in order to contribute to the discussion.

“If we did not protect the budget then what would have happened?” he asked.

“Yes we hear people complaining about the increased debt and it frustrates me.

“If we did not respond quickly with the economic response package, then what would have happened?

“We would have failed to pay K185 million fortnightly and we would have lay off nurses and doctors, which means less frontline workers and that would have resulted in more than the 18,000 infected cases to date and roughly to about 200 deaths.

“These figures would have been far greater.

“We would have reduced the number of policemen and the early lockdowns would have been chaotic and the order situation would have been far worse.

“Mr Speaker, I will present a statement tomorrow (today) outlining where we were before the COVID- 19 when we look at some of these things at the very tough economic times and if you recall the forecasted GDP for this year to be three and a half per cent but that number was revised to two and a half per cent.

“Given the difficult times, it gives you an idea to appreciate what this government had done and look at some key matrix and compare funding since the government came into power in May 2019, you can see that with capital funding in two and a half year, the previous government-funded about K10 billion.

“At the end of May, our capital investment budget is expected to be around K18 billion.

“That’s a clear K8 billion more compared to the previous government and we did this with revenue revised down to K2.7 billion.

‘‘It is my duty to protect the budget and revenue. The revenue is met but if we can’t find revenue internally, we have to find it elsewhere.”

 

Reference: Elapa, Jefffrey. Post-Courier (12 August 2021). “K5.7B Economic Recovery, Health Funds Protect the Economy: Ling-Stuckey”.



Related Articles

Business

PNG Business News - April 26, 2021

Treasurer Says K5.7 Billion Spent on Economic Recovery Plan

Treasurer Ian Ling Stuckey told Parliament that K5.7 billion was spent as part of an economic recovery plan on "the economic battle." He explained that the money was not solely spending on COVID-19 and that the government had invested K2.5 billion in COVID-19 bonds and K1.5 billion in friendly international assistance. Mr Ling-Stuckey said K600 million had been set aside, and the government had “built another K600 million on COVID-19 in 2022” into its budget projections. On COVID-19, he said, there were two wars: a health war and an economic war. Mr Ling-Stuckey claimed that the majority of the K5.7 billion was spent on the global war as a relief package rather than a COVID-19 health program. The elements and results of the K5.7 billion economic stimulus program, he said, included: K2.5 billion COVID-19 bonds – Amid the vulnerable, once-in-a-generation challenge to capital markets, all of these bonds were successfully collected. There was a possibility that the COVID-19 economic impacts may have prevented these bond proposals, which were already included in the 2020 budget, from raising the necessary funds. K1.5 billion in friendly international assistance – met. The people of Marape have faith in the government. Budget funding collections totalled K4.4 billion in 2020. Thanks to COVID-19, some of the 2020 budget funds were no longer available, most notably the loss of nearly K1 billion expected for the ADB partial credit guarantee due to poor foreign market conditions. However, we were able to receive K1.26 billion from the IMF, K877 million from the ADB in a revised COVID-19 aid program, an expansion in our ADB health package to K528 million, the completion of SOE reforms for K351 million, and agreements with Australia for a new, low-cost, longer-term loan of K1.383 billion. K1b, a valued Japanese aid, was also present. This is a benefit of more flexible, straightforward, and accountable budgeting. This has aided in the repayment of previous high-cost debts, such as the Credit Suisse loan. More critically, it has backed up existing calls to boost healthcare spending and protect the economy from COVID-19-related shocks. This funding is used to finance the whole budget; K6 million credit line from BPNG, which was obtained by lowering the cash balance requirement – was surpassed, with BPNG signaling that much more was given. The declines in cash balance requirements totalled K643 million, according to BPNG. K500 million in cash flow for people who lose their work due to regulatory reforms that provide for early access to superannuation. Preliminary estimates indicate that withdrawals have risen by more than 20%, with more funding expected; – K5 million real budget spending – later increased to K6 million – preliminary findings show that K508 million was spent. “In total, of the K5.2b, we exceeded the target by nearly K3b in friendly foreign support and K43m from the BPNG credit line – due to the renewed confidence in the PNG economy by our international partners.”

Business

PNG Business News - May 10, 2021

BSP Group Forecasts Economic Growth This Year

In its first quarterly Pacific economic and market (PEM) perspectives for 2021, BSP Financial Group Ltd forecasted 3.5 per cent economic growth for PNG this year. The bank estimated that the global economy will rise at a rate of 6% in 2020, up from a predicted -3.3 per cent in 2020 when the world was struck by the Covid-19 pandemic. The resumption of Barrick Niugini Ltd operations at the Porgera gold mine, as well as PNG LNG's forecast to expand PNG's liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, were credited by the Pem insight for the recovery of the PNG economy. The signing of the agreement between Barrick and the government was well-received by the business community, according to BSP Group CEO Robin Fleming. He said that the agreement had given companies much-needed interest in the mine production restarting operation, which would bring foreign exchange into the country and improve loan and domestic economic development. Though PNG's economy is projected to recover, Pacific island countries have been hit hard by the global tourism slump, despite the virus's low prevalence. The economies of these countries are forecast to grow at about 9% below pre-pandemic peaks. Owing to expanded fiscal investment on infrastructure, Vanuatu's economy is expected to grow to 3.2 per cent in 2021, up 12.4 per cent from 2020. Although the kina remained unchanged against the US dollar in the first quarter of 2021, the dollar strengthened against most other currencies as higher-than-anticipated economic and job growth raised inflationary fears and fueled optimism that the US Federal Reserve would tighten monetary policy sooner than expected. The country's total foreign reserves fell from US$2.7 billion (K9.39 billion) at the end of December 2020 to US$2.41 billion (K8.31 billion) on March 18, 2021. The drop in reserves was mostly due to external government debt servicing and Central Bank intervention in the foreign exchange sector to increase liquidity. BSP's results and targets for the year were outlined in the paper, with the key target being access to the Australian stock exchange. “If successful, we will have access to alternative source capital to fund future growth ambitions, deliver services to our customers and enhance existing shareholder liquidity,” Fleming said.

Business

PNG Business News - August 23, 2021

BPNG: Economic Activity Decreasing Due to COVID

Domestic economic activity decreased in 2020, according to economic data accessible to the Bank of PNG, despite a rebound in the December quarter. The drop, according to the Central Bank, was caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, which had a negative influence on the world economy, as well as the government's subsequent containment efforts following the declaration of a state of emergency and the closure of the Porgera mine. The downturn was fueled by reduced production and exports of most mineral and non-mineral commodities, as well as reductions in formal private sector sales. The Kina likewise lost value against all major currencies, causing the Trade Weighted Index to fall. As containment measures were lifted in the second part of the year, employment increased, indicating a recovery. With the pandemic's impact, headline inflation remained high. Sales grew across the board, with the exception of agriculture, forestry, and fishing, which saw a drop.   Reference: The National (13 August 2021). “BPNG: Local economic activity declining”.


Recent Articles

Mining

PNG Business News - December 02, 2021

Adyton Resources hits significant copper at Feni Island, Papua New Guinea

Photo credit: Adyton Resources Adyton Resources Corporation has reported significant copper assays at its 100% owned Feni Island Project (Feni) in Papua New Guinea following the completion of the company’s maiden drilling program of five diamond holes (1,982m) in September. The initial objectives of the program were to expand the gold resource as well as test various induced polarisation (IP) anomalies for the potential of a copper porphyry system.  Multi-element assays have now been returned with significant copper intersections being recorded from hole ADK004 in two zones – a shallower disseminated zone of copper mineralisation followed by a zone of massive sulphide copper mineralisation: Disseminated Cu + Au: •             35.9m (70.7 to 106.6m) @ 0.3% Cu & 1.1g/t Au Massive sulphide Cu + Au: •             6.4m (149.7 to 156.1m) @ 5.1% Cu & 1.6g/t Au                Incl         3.6m (151.5 to 155.1m) @ 6.9% Cu & 2.1g/t Au Incl         0.7m (154.4 to 155.1m) @ 14.5% Cu & 2.4g/t Au Adyton Resources President, Executive Chairman and CEO, Mr Frank Terranova, said the assay results demonstrated Feni’s significant copper potential. “The results confirm that Feni could contain zones of high-grade copper within the extensive gold mineralisation and this confirmation of massive sulphide copper in the system justifies more work which is currently being planned,” Mr Terranova said. “The recent drilling program has highlighted the potential for a significant discovery to be made in the 1.5km long Kabang structural corridor. The corridor is lightly drilled, and going north is covered by younger volcanic cover, which has hindered previous exploration efforts – a focus of the next program will be exploring under this younger cover.” Located in a Tier 1 region along a mineral belt containing the world class Simberi, Lihir, and Panguna gold and copper projects, Mr Terranova added that the model at Feni was for a “Lihir-style” epithermal gold overprint on a deeper porphyry copper system.

Company

PNG Business News - November 30, 2021

Weir Minerals’ new Trio® TC84XR live-shaft cone crusher improves safety, functionality and reliability

Weir Minerals has upgraded its range of Trio® TC live-shaft cone crushers. The Trio® TC84XR features all the robust design elements that have made live-shaft crushers a fixture of the mining and sand and aggregate industries for generations, while also incorporating the latest technology to ensure it remains integral to flowsheets long into the future. ‘The Trio TC cone crushers’ live-shaft design has been proven to perform in heavy-duty secondary and tertiary crushing applications. We wanted to build on this strong foundation. My team followed a comprehensive design process – we’ve reviewed and tested every inch of this crusher. While the TC84XR may seem familiar on the outside, we’ve upgraded its design and control functionality. The motor is larger and it has a much higher crushing capacity compared to equivalent sized crushers,’ Mark Utecht, Weir Minerals’ Director of Comminution Engineering said. ‘The result: we now have an incredibly robust, powerful and technologically advanced crusher that is easy to operate, has a low wear rate and uses less energy, which ultimately lowers operating costs,’ he said. While many OEMs have made the decision to discontinue their live-shaft cone crushers, Weir Minerals has resisted this trend, believing that – because every mining and sand and aggregate operation is different – there can’t be a one-size-fits all approach. Instead, Weir Minerals partners with its customers and empowers them to choose the machine best suited to their crushing needs. There are some applications and situations where pedestal (fixed-shaft) style crushers may be the more appropriate solution, which is why Weir Minerals continues to manufacture the premium Trio® TP pedestal style machine. Weir Minerals is the only global equipment manufacturer that offers both the TC live shaft and TP fixed shaft style machines. ‘The combination of the Trio TP and TC fixed and live-shaft cone crushers ensures that Weir Minerals continue to offer their customers the right technology, regardless of their site structure, operating conditions or application,’ Mark Utecht, Weir Minerals’ Director of Comminution Engineering said. Trio® live- and fixed-shaft cone crushers are made for modern mines and quarries with advanced hydraulics, wear resistant material and the latest technology. ‘This is really exciting for our customers, as they now have a real choice. The combination of our TC and TP series allows us to have an honest conversation with our customers on the options available to them and make a technological recommendation which truly meets their needs,’ Ekkhart Matthies, Weir Minerals’ Global Application Director said. Replacing existing live-shaft style machines on site with the Trio® TC84XR crusher is now a straightforward process because it has very similar dimensions and is a comparable weight to its live-shaft predecessors. And because it produces the same product, downstream changes aren’t required, which isn’t the case when replacing a live-shaft style machine with a fixed-shaft style machine. In other words, there is no need to re-design existing circuits. Technology upgrades The recent technology upgrades in the Trio® TC84XR crusher have improved its safety, functionality and reliability. ‘At Weir Minerals, we understand and appreciate the important role live-shaft cone crushers play in today’s challenging crushing applications. Combining decades of experience and first-hand customer feedback with innovative designs, the highest quality materials and latest in control technology we believe that our new Trio TC84XR cone crusher is the most reliable and robust live-shaft cone in the market today’ Ekkhart Matthies, Weir Minerals Global Application Director said. Engineered to perform in the most extreme applications, the Trio® TC84XR crusher is robust and easy to maintain and operate. It reliably delivers high crushing force and high horsepower in primary, crushed ore and quarry rock applications. The ability of the TC84XR crusher to handle variable feed and crush pebbles is also partly a result of its large motor; it’s been designed with higher power capability than comparable cone crushers. Ultimately, this translates to a higher potential crushing force and therefore increase in production. Another feature that allows it to handle variable feed, as well as deal with tramp material safely, is the fully-automated tramp-release and setting recovery system. The tramp release hydraulics can also be used to safely clear the crushing chamber should a sudden disruption in plant power cause a shut-down of the cone crusher. The socket assembly has been redesigned to improve sealing, which has optimised functionality and manufacturability by reducing the machining setups of the socket and seal rings. The Weir Minerals comminution team has also redesigned the countershaft assembly to remove welding and machining, while simultaneously improving venting and the dust seal. The Trio® TC84XR crusher, like the range of TP series cone crushers, can be fitted with ESCO® wear parts, designed with superior ESCO® alloys, they can be custom designed based on your specific requirements. With over 100 years of casting expertise and in-house engineering and metallurgy, ESCO transforms what was already a robust machine into one that, in the toughest conditions, is unsurpassed. All Trio® equipment is supported by the Weir Minerals unmatched global service centre network – with over 160 facilities worldwide. Further information can be found at https://info.global.weir/trio

Business

PNG Business News - November 26, 2021

PM Marape welcomes K22 billion Budget

Photo credit: PM James Marape News Page - Treasurer Ling-Stuckey tabling the 2022 Budget Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has welcomed the tabling of the record K22.175 billion 2022 Budget by Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey in Parliament. He said it would help Papua New Guinea on the path to economic recovery as well as support successful delivery of the 2022 National General Election. “The total Budget of K22.175 billion is 9.3 per cent higher than the 2021 Supplementary Budget, with a revenue envelope of K16.190 billion which is 18.4 per cent higher than the 2021 Supplementary Budget,” PM Marape said. “The fiscal deficit for 2022 is K5.895 billion, which is 5.9 per cent of the 2022 Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Compare this deficit to K6. 6 billion or 7 per cent of GDP in 2021. “In 2022, the PNG economy is projected to grow strongly by 5.4 per cent, from K93 billion in 2021` to K102 billion. “The 2022 Budget will continue the budget repair and economic recovery path, with strong focus on non-resource sector growth, and at the same time support families and businesses. “There will be increased development and capital funding to high priority programmes and sufficient funding for key social sectors to stimulate economic growth. “The delivery of my Government’s third Budget today, despite the many challenges and obstacles, shows clearly the work that we have been doing. “It points to the fact that our path to economic recovery is correct, and with critical analysis by all multilateral Budget partners like Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Bank, our positive trajectories show an increase in GDP for next year and beyond as well as a declining budget deficit trend. “The handing down of the Budget is the single most-important parliamentary occasion of any government. “With hangovers and effects of a slowed economy due to COVID-19, your Government has used the last three years of National Budget to ensure our domestic economy was functional and alive, and our crucial services were maintained. “I want to assure our people and all stakeholders in our economy that we are responsible and prudent to ensure expected outcomes of our Budget are achieved.” PM Marape said since his Government took office in May 2019, it had used the Budget to support schools, hospitals, COVID-19 programmes, road construction, SME funds, retiring old debts and contractual obligations, paying outstanding industrial awards, and many others. “Our 2022 Budget embraces our national outcomes including opening up all parts of our country; intervening in sustainable economy; starting up Porgera, Papua LNG and Wafi-Golpu for our economy; paying for our children’s education in 2022 and beyond; building new hospitals; ramping up support to Bougainville; clearing up projects like new Supreme Court Building and ensuring the 2022 General Election is fully funded,” he said. “All the above we are doing whilst maintaining strict discipline in sticking to our money plan, with our development partners observing our discipline to reforms. “Key in our reforms is to borrow low-cost US dollar denominated borrowings like the Australian $400-million dollar and the Japanese Government US$280million 0.01 per cent five-year grace period lending, which all came directly into our economy by way of Budget support. “I just want to assure our people and our economic stake holders that we are going through tough times, but we will use the Budget policies wisely to share the load of burden and also ensure key infrastructure like the 1900 kilometres of road we built the last two years all over rural PNG through our flagship ‘Connect PNG’ programme are continued.”   Article courtesy of PM James Marape News Page

Join Papua New Guinea's

Business Community

Be the "First" to get our exclusive Digital Magazine & Weekly Newsletter.