PNG TARGETS AUTHOR OF CRITICAL REPORT

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Mar. 13) - The Papua New Guinea government has rejected a report by an Australian think tank depicting a gloomy picture of PNG for failing to take into account policies introduced to turn the country around.

The country’s Chief Secretary to the Government, Joshua Kalinoe, said a co-author of the report, Mike Manning, will be investigated by the Privileges Committee.

Manning is director of PNG’s Institute of National Affairs,

The report, "Papua New Guinea on the Brink," was done by the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney. It describes PNG as a nation wracked with corruption, crime and a disintegrating infrastructure.

Kalinoe says the report should have outlined what the government is doing to tackle the country’s social and economic problems. He said efforts have been made to solve infrastructure problems, build up the commodities and mineral industries and attract foreign investment.

"The government is taking steps to overcome this problem, that's something this paper has not highlighted," he said. "Within six months, the kina has doubled, as we are now pumping more money into infrastructure development.

"We are giving consideration now to the agriculture sector. The government found that the industry that really needs some resurrection is mining and petroleum. We have done that in the budget, we now have investors from the US and Canada."

March 14, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com 

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