Six new portfolios likely: PNG PM

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Cabinet may be increased by six new portfolios as Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape wants to see “more hands on deck” to deal with a rapidly growing population.

“The population is bigger and growing at a three percent rate, but our economy hasn’t grown above that rate. It’s always been below average at three per cent,” he said.

“So it is our view that we need more hands on deck to assist in managing key sectors and address issues in the areas.”

He said it would all depend on the passing of an amendment to the Prime Minister and National Executive Council Act in Parliament which would be sitting for two weeks from today.
“It is up to Parliament to decide whether we expand Cabinet with six new ministries or not,” he said.

He said the country today was “different” from what it was during Independence in 1975.

“(We have) many provinces and we now also have the special region of Bougainville, more electorates at 97 with five more coming up,” he said.

Leader of Government Business Rainbo Paita told The National that the agenda included a debate on the Ombudsman Commission Bill and the amendment to the PM and NEC Act.

“Parliament will also be swearing in Sir Bob Dadae, the first governor-general to be elected into office, for a second term on Wednesday,” he said.

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey is expected to deliver a “state of the economy” address that will include an update on the Puma-Bank of PNG issue, Paita said.

SOURCE: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS