Namah Cautioned Government on IMF Loan

Hon. Belden Namah, the Member for Vanimo Green, spoke out against the proposed International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan during the parliament’s recent session on March 24th, 2023. He argued that the government should not surrender its sovereign rights and rely on foreign bodies for economic management.

Namah emphasized that the country’s founding fathers envisioned a society and government that would be free from foreign intervention, and the sovereign right to determine the country’s political and economic destiny is a basic right enshrined in the national Constitution.

Namah pointed out that the government’s decision to seek an IMF loan is morally reprehensible and questioned the need for outside assistance to perform functions that should be sovereign to the country. He suggested that living within the means of the country and managing socio-economic problems through refined policies and existing legislation is the way forward.

Namah argued that Papua New Guinea should focus on self-reliance and trade instead of introducing a dependency on aid loans. He suggested investing in enabling infrastructure, such as energy transformation and transport transformation, to drive the country’s economy. Namah also urged the government to direct investment in the agricultural sector, rehabilitating popular plantations, and coffee and cocoa industries.

Namah cautioned against relying on foreign entities for refining and exporting gold, pointing out that the government has enough money to build its own refinery and bullion in the country. He urged the government to utilize the provisions within its laws and access the 30% take in the mining sector to develop the country’s economy.

In the past, Papua New Guinea has obtained loans from the IMF, which have had long-term impacts on the country. For instance, in 1999, Papua New Guinea received a loan of $75 million from the IMF, which was aimed at stabilizing the country’s macroeconomic situation. The loan was conditional on the country implementing structural reforms, including reducing government expenditure and implementing tax reforms. While the loan helped stabilize the economy in the short term, the structural adjustments resulted in job losses and increased poverty rates, ultimately having long-term negative impacts on the country’s economy.

Namah’s concerns regarding the IMF loan and his suggestion of investing in the country’s agricultural and mining sectors for self-reliance and trade could be a viable alternative to the government’s plan.

You may also like...