By MALUM NALU
The Bank of PNG believes the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) should review its portfolio, according to Governor Loi Bakani.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by assistant governor Gae Kauzi at the Papua New Guinea Advantage 2012 investment conference, Bakani said the government – through IPBC – should decide which industries to privatise and which to be sourced out.
Ironically, this was just Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments, Ben Micah, admitted that public enterprises were a liability to PNG.
“The IPBC should review its portfolio and decide which of the industries it controls should be fully or partially privatised and which of their operations should be sourced out,” Bakani said.
“Such a decision on its own will attract large amounts of investment funds into the country.
“It can become a catalyst for major investor interest in channeling investments into the country, and the development of new investment institutions and instruments.”
Bakani said in infrastructure development and implementation, the systems were in place and the private sector was fully involved as a partner.
“In this case too, there were too many claims and accusations of misuse of public funds, lack of detailed planning, and non-delivery of projects to their specifications,” he said.
“It is the role and duty of government to ensure that public funds are used only for approved projects productively and efficiently.
“There is much more to it: the government should decide in which areas it should source out to the private sector, the activities.
“One good example is the power generation industry.”
Bakani said the government and public sector should concentrate on improving and maintaining service delivery of public goods such as health, education and infrastructure.
“This will encourage investment in economic activities and financial services by both the public and private sectors in the rural areas for inclusive growth,” he said.
“The government has to plan in great detail, and professionally, the pace of implementation.
“The decisions it takes are very wide-ranging, complex, and very costly.
“It has to ensure that the very large amounts of resources that will have to be allocated to each and every one of the above sectors are used efficiently, and under close scrutiny and control.”