K2.3billion financial sector crucial: PNG Treasurer

PHOTO: DevPolicy/Johan10 (Adobe Stock)

The banking and financial sector accounts for K2.3 billion (US$653 million) of the national economy, according to Papua New Guinea Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey.

Ling-Stuckey discussed the banking tax and the economy with executives of the Bank South Pacific Financial Group (BSP), Kina Bank, Westpac and ANZ this week in Port Moresby.

“Also attending was Treasury secretary and the Bank of Papua New Guinea’s acting Governor, Elizabeth Genia, given the central bank’s vital role in regulating and supporting this sector,” he said.

“The meeting agreed on a consultation process on the banking sector tax.

“Treasury will prepare a discussion paper, including some suggestions from the meeting.

“The banking sector will be asked to make submissions and then there will be further discussions on options for PNG.”

He said discussions also covered issues in the payment system.

“This included the widespread and frustrating issue of dishonouring government cheques,” he said.

“The issue wasn’t cash (but) the paperwork.

“There was a discussion about why our financing sector was being outsourced to perform control functions, when this should be handled within government processes.

“There was a wider discussion on the impact of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing laws, plus inconsistencies in application across branches and broader regulatory requirements.” Electronic funds transfer was suggested instead of cheques.