PAPUA NEW GUINEA PM SKATE RESHUFFLES CABINET

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (July 29, 1998 - Radio Australia)--- Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Bill Skate has reshuffled his Cabinet, made sweeping changes to the public service, and dramatically altered the country's financial regulation system in an effort to halt the slide in the country's currency.

Radio Australia correspondent Sean Dorney reports Mr. Skate has also given Papua New Guinea's Malaysian dominated logging industry tax relief by abolishing log export taxes on lower priced logs.

"Papua New Guinea has a new central bank governor. It's third in less than a year.

"The head of the treasury has also been changed again and ten other public service and statutory authority heads have lost their jobs.

"Mr. Skate says the moves are aimed at restoring public confidence and foreign investor confidence in both the economy and the government's bureaucratic machinery.

"Ten new foreign exchange licenses are to be issued to give greater competition to the banks in the setting of the value of the currency, the kina, which has tumbled to almost US$ 0.40.

"Sean Dorney, Port Moresby."

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