Papua New Guinea meeting IMF benchmarks, says treasurer

 PAPUA New Guinea has been meeting the economic reform benchmarks agreed on with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the start of the year, says Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey.

“Indeed, of the 18 benchmarks set out in my presentations to Parliament, 17 have been met and one has had a minor delay as the updated Medium-Term Revenue Strategy has been agreed to by the Ministerial Economic Sub-Committee of the National Executive Council (NEC), but not considered yet by the NEC itself,” Ling-Stuckey said.

“In addition, there has been ‘staff level’ agreement for new benchmarks that will be taken to NEC for consideration. During our final meeting of the first review visit from Sept 6-21, the IMF review team indicated that less than half of countries passed the first review process.

“PNG is continuing well with its economic reforms on budget repair, lifting incomes, creating jobs, reducing foreign exchange shortages and fighting corruption.

“During two weeks of intensive questioning, our staff at Treasury and BPNG have been answering many detailed questions on how the budget is performing, on central bank operations, and how the economy has been performing. Frankly, this is a good thing.”

He said working with IMF had benefitted PNG’s credit rating.

“Since the announcement of the programme six months ago, the ‘risk premium’ in international markets for PNG has dropped by a third, or nearly three percentage points. This has probably helped lower domestic interest costs on government’s borrowing with savings estimated to be over a billion kina each year.


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