Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Agiru, Tiensten prefer SDP over Vision 2050

THE National Government’s 20-year strategic development plan (SDP) is set to take off as the medium term development strategy nears its 10-year cycle.

Key players in the government preferred the SDP to the Vision 2050, arguing it was properly costed and had realistic targets, The National reports.

The SDP was conceptualised by Planning Minister Paul Tiensten, who foreshadowed the 20-year plan when he delivered a stinging attack on the 40-year plan (later named Vision 2050) during the mining and petroleum conference in Sydney in December 2008.

The SDP is costed around K250 billion over 20 years,

starting next year.

The medium term development plan will take up the first five years of SDP, and a growth concept Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru would kick-start next year is called PRAEC (petroleum resource area economic corridor).

“I want to champion PRAEC for the next five years,” Agiru said yesterday.

Under PRAEC, various projects would be developed and funded along the corridor area.

These projects are expected to spur growth in these areas, which will mostly be affected by the petroleum projects now under way.

“Under PRAEC, Southern Highlands and Hela will be the envy of the rest of PNG. Gulf, Western, Enga and Central will also benefit from this concept,” Tiensten said when commenting on the move by Agiru.

Agiru said he believed Vision 2050 was only a dream.

He said the ideals of 2050 were already captured in the constitution.

“Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare envisaged this and captured it in our constitution. It has been there for 35 years.

“We do not need Vision 2050. It is not costed. We do not know where it will start and finish,” Agiru said.

While Agiru kick-starts PRAEC, other parts of PNG will also have their own growth concepts under this plan.

For the funding commitment of the SDP to be fully realised, the government may relax restrictions, placed by the medium term fiscal strategy and other laws or policies, so government can access funds to inject into the 20-year plan.

Government sources said the government might borrow against future earnings, given the national debt to GDP ratio had fallen below 50%, to fund this strategy since most of the programmes were development-oriented and would trigger economic growth and create wealth in the 20 years.


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