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Resource PNG – Episode 89, 2013

 

The Prime Minister addresses a number of topics most of which are related tPNG’s resource sector. Covered in this interview:

 

Commidity Price cycles:

 

  1. How doesthe Government plan on supportingthe Resource sector at this time of downturn.
  2. Agricultural commodity prices have fallen to very low levels, what kind of assistance doesthe Government plan on providing tPNG producers?

EIT:

  1. Isthe Government prepared to open its books and share information withthe Mining companies to ensure receipts match payments.
Distribution of Benefits:

  1. Social welfare reforms – pensions for disabled and elderly people.
  2. How sustainable isthe free education and health care policy.
  3. Howthe government plans to foster private sector growth whilst managing economic volatilities caused by fiscal expansion.
Budget and Debt:

  1. Commodity prices have remained below budget estimates, with Gold prices slumping well belowthe budget estimate of US$ 1700. How isthe government managingthe budget and isthere potential for a blowout inthe budget deficit beyond K2 billion?
  2. ratings Agency Standard and Poors upgradePNG’s credit rating from Beto Be with a stable outlook forecasted forPNG However, recently an article in a popular magazine raised specific concerns about levels of Government debt particularlythe cost of borrowing inthe Chinese currency (Yuan), which he says is an appreciating currency. Giventhe potential for increased costs of borrowing, are current levels of public debt sustainable?
 

Governments role in resource projects:

  1. Now, 156 communities ofthe Ok Mani, Ok Tedi and Fly Rivers have signed up to extend Community Mine Continuation Agreements that formthe basis of Ok Tedi Mine’s social licence to operate. Giventhe State’s intention to expropriatethe Mine, willthe State honourthe agreements made with those communities?
  2. The Minister for Environment John Pundari recently, describedthe Ok Tedi Mine as a “curse onthe Fly River people”. How doesthe state intend to turn it in a blessing for the Fly River people?
  3. Finally, doesthe government intend to or havethe capacity to pay a fair market price fofPNG DP’s stake in OTML, which is estimated to be worth US$ 1.1billion?

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