Economy. Papua New Guinea press review

Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG) Hon. James Marape announce about an economic recovery plan which includes assisting small businesses and supporting people dependent on the informal sector. The plan is expected to be announced next week after it is approved by Cabinet. According to Mr. Marape, the authorities had arranged with commercial banks to provide ‘soft loan’ facilities for small businesses and also arrange for food to be distributed to people in settlements especially in Port Moresby and Lae.

Ok Tedi Mining Ltd chief executive and managing director Peter Graham told that the approval of major resource projects around the country will boost economic recovery. According to P. Graham, production and sales from the mine were so far unaffected by the COVID-19 and State of Emergency (SoE) According to the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, export revenue from petroleum and mineral products hit a record K27.6 billion in 2018, compared to K25.4 billion in 2017.

Petroleum and Energy Minister Kerenga Kua says there must be transparency in disbursement of landowner payments and expressed disappointment in the questionable conduct of the Department of Petroleum and Energy (DPE) staff in issuing landowner cheque payments: ‘From here on, I will ensure that all landowner cheque payments are done in public where beneficiaries can witness the disbursement of cheques to each clan group’. Petroleum and Energy Minister also tasked the secretary David Manau to cancel the previous cheques that were raised and organise the reissuing of new cheques to be paid to the individual groups that comprise the Southern Highlands province landowner clans.

In the meantime, Jiwaka Governor Dr William Tongamp has allocated K1.7 million to the provincial emergency team to combat the coronavirus pandemic. It is submitted that the possible spread of the COVID-19 pandemic should it enter the Highlands region and the people of Jiwaka would be vunerable to infection because they live along the stretch of the vibrant Highlands highway. The allocation of monies from the provincial government to respective agents involved were for awareness, identification, diagnosing, quarantine and treating of possible infections in the province.

PNG DataCo CEO, Paul Komboi, said during the discussions and debates on social media regarding the alleged effects of 5G mobile technology, that The Fibre optic cable used in the Kumul Submarine Cable Network (KSCN) and the National Transmission Network (NTN) does not emit electromagnetic radiation and has no real, if not, negligible health or environmental hazards or risks.

The Kumul Submarine Cable Network (KSCN) is over 5 thousand km domestic internet platform to link fourteen provinces and two national data centres in Port Moresby and Madang. The KSCN also connects to Jakarta through Indonesia’s national backbone submarine cable network and further connect to Asia to form a new international internet gateway.

The KSCN System rollout is on track to be completed by May 2020. So far the cable has been successfully landed in Jayapura, Vanimo, Wewak, Lorengau and Madang. The Cable Ship is expected to move to the rest of the New Guinea islands starting with Kimbe in the coming days.

K1.7 million allocated to battle Covid-19
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