PNG Prime Minister says Economic growth a priority

PNG Prime Minister. Peter O'neill
DELIVERING key policy initiatives for economic growth and expanding opportunities for the people will be the Government’s priorities in the first few months of 2014, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.
In a statement, he said the budget programme implementation performance in 2013 was an improvement but more needed to be done.
“There are still problems with capital spending, especially on major projects such as roads and they will be a focus,” he said.
“On Feb 10, I will chair a Leaders’ Summit between all ministers and governors where we will focus on implementing key budget spending in areas such as schools, health care, infrastructure, law and order and on implementing with maximum cooperation between all levels of government.”
The summit will focus on reducing duplication and bureaucratic delays and wastage at all levels of government. 
O’Neill said the Government faced a new challenge this year of ensuring that direct funding delivered to districts and local governments worked well.
He said even a good budget would fail if it was not delivered effectively and efficiently. 
“This year, actual service and programme delivery will get greater attention than ever,” O’Neill said. 
“The Government will ensure that key policy agenda issues are formalised and implemented early this year.
“One of the highest policy priorities will be the full passage of the anti-corruption legislation and the establishment of a powerful and resourced Anti-Corruption Authority.”
He expressed the Government’s intention to make starting business more affordable through cutting back approval processes and reducing or abolishing costs and charges as well.
“I am well aware of the real problems facing our farmers due mainly but not only to low world commodity prices,” O’Neill said.

The National/ Pacific Flash 
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