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PNG Opposition leader Namah queries K1 billion Loan from Australia

The Marape-Steven Government has been called on to come clean on the 1-Billion Kina concessional loan given by Australia to Papua New Guinea.

PNG Opposition Leader, Belden Namah, asked Prime Minister, James Marape, during question time in Parliament this morning, to clarify if there are strings attached to the loan, adding that no country would give a 'soft loan' at very low-interest rates.

"No government could be so gullible, Mr. Speaker, so as to believe and give a loan that would offer very low market rates and not expect anything in return and our people need to know what arrangements Mr. Prime Minister you have made and agreed with Australia in secret.

"This agreement and secrecy involve is a reversion to colonialism and handout mentality that this government says it is against," said Namah.

Mr. Namah described it as a 'contradiction' that the Marape-Steven Government is trying to 'Take Back PNG' while getting loans as well.

Prime Minister Marape in response said, there is nothing secret about the loan, describing it as a 'better one for the country'.

"That One-Billion Kina Loan would be infused possibly anytime today or tomorrow as I speak.

"A straight transaction with no string attached to support, no fees for consultants or what’s so ever, straight into our Central Bank from the Federal Reserve Bank of Australia.

"A couple of things will take place, it will mitigate our cash-flow issues right away, you will have 300 million US Dollars for the market and transactions will take place," said Marape.

Prime Minister Marape also thanked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for the loan, adding that the Government was transparent about its figures hence the approval of the loan.

NBC News / PNG Today

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