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PM O’Neill says No Need to Panic About PNG’s Loan Debt Status

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said there is no need to panic over the country’s debt levels.

He was responding to questions by Deputy Opposition Leader, Sam Basil, during question time in Parliament yesterday.

Mr. O’Neill said PNG’s borrowings are within the Fiscal Responsibilities Act and is lower than that of many other countries.

The turnout in parliament yesterday was better than the previous day’s poor attendance which resulted in the adjournment of the sitting to today.

It was back to business as usual, as Mr. Basil asked the Prime Minister to disclose where the country’s total debt level stands at. His question follows funding drawdown for the ABD Highlands Region Road Improvement Investment Program and the World Bank’s recently approved credit of K223 million to PNG to support the country’s water sector.

Mr. O’Neill said there was no need for panic because PNG’s loan status is within the limit, which is 30 per cent below GDP. This is according to the Fiscal Responsibilities Act. He said the Leadership Summit this week revealed that PNG’s debt levels were lower than those of many other countries in the region.

Mr. O’Neill also responded to Mr. Basil’s second question on whether or not the government will take out more loans before the Issue of Writs.

The Prime Minister commended the Fiscal Responsibilities Act which limits PNG’s borrowings to 30% of GDP and places the country in a better position compared to other countries who take out loans.

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