Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pruaitch: Government monitoring world commodities markets

Office of the Minister for Treasury

Minister for Treasury, Patrick Pruaitch, in response to the Opposition Leader’s claims in the Post-Courier front-page report yesterday about falling commodity prices, re-assures the country that the Government is fully aware of the current developments in the world commodities markets and is closely monitoring the movements in prices.
“As a responsible Government, the O’Neill-Dion Government is monitoring the developments very closely and is fully aware of the implications the falls in prices will have on the economy particularly on Government revenues,” the Treasurer said in a statement.
“The Government , however,  believes that it is too early to be making any adjustments to the 2015 Budget for now.
“At this stage, there is no need to panic.
"The Government is fully aware of the situation and is looking ahead at the options available should the need to adjust arise.”
Pruaitch assured the people of Papua New Guinea that the Government would take all the necessary measures to ensure that the adverse movements in the revenue outlook were contained and that the 2015 Budget remained on track for the stated fiscal targets.
“Whilst the oil prices have fallen by 36.6% since the 2015 Budget, copper and gold prices remain on track. 
"They have only declined by 6.1 and 7.2% respectively since the 2015 Budget, contrary to the 40% price decline as claimed by the opposition leader.
“For the LNG exports, whilst world LNG prices depend and trend closely to the world oil prices, much of the PNG LNG exports and prices is locked in the long term forwards sales contracts.”
Pruaitch whilst he had been unwilling to respond to Opposition Leader directly, "these are other recent statements in the Press recently that are utterly irresponsible. 
"Now is the time for cooperation to give Papua New Guineans the true facts and not political point scoring."
He said the Opposition Leader's statements were extremely consistent with the former head of the Australian advisory team during Polye’s tenure in Vulupindi Haus. 
"In some instances,  it is difficult to work out whether these thoughts are Polye’s or those of this advisor,  which is receiving a lot of air time in the mainstream and social media," Pruaitch said.
 “For my department, we are well aware of the scenario and will take the necessary measures to ensure that external impacts are mitigated as much as possible.
“Developments in the world economy is something that is beyond everybody’s control and it is times like this when responsible Government’s will need to be proactive and have contingencies in place to be able to effectively deal with such circumstances.
"This is what the O’Neill –Dion Government is doing and is asking everyone to be patient and to refrain from making claims that could drive public perception – remember perception drives fear more so than facts.
“Finally let me re-assure the nation that, the Government understands the implications of the recent sharp movements in commodity prices particularly oil and will be monitoring it closely as we head into Christmas and the New Year.”

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