State eyes K500mil World Bank credit

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THE Government plans to get US$500 million (K1.6 billion) from the World Bank as budget support over the next three years, Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele says.
It is also plans to get US$300 million (K954 million) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the health sector.
He told a meeting of heads of departments at Keapara in Rigo, Central, on Friday that the Government was talking to the World Bank about the facility “which is purely budget support”.
“I know what people will say: ‘They (Government) don’t have any money. So they’re running around looking for money’,” he said.
“This is about going to them (World Bank) and saying: ‘This is our programme, what do you guys think?’.
“They will say: ‘Because you’ve come so far in the last five years, we are going to offer you a package of around US$300 million to US$500 (K1.6 billion) million for budget support’.
“We say: ‘We’re worried that if you give us money, we’re going to build roads from nowhere to nowhere. We’re going to do silly things’.
“So we will commit to a raft of changes, a series of public sector reforms.
“And as we get to that reform, give us US$100 million (K318 million).
“As we get to this reform, give us the second US$100 million, and so on. We’re looking at, over the next three years, a facility of US$500 million.”
Vele said the US$300 million ADB support towards the health sector was the biggest towards a non-infrastructure programme.
“It’s the first time that the Government will put in over K1 billion into health,” he said.
“That’s coming in this year.”
Vele said the support shown by organisations such as ADB and the World Bank showed their recognition of PNG.

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