21 Feb 2012

PNG's SOE may face shake-up

4:14 pm on 21 February 2012

A shake up of state-owned enterprises in Papua New Guinea is likely after revelations the agencies are not meeting obligations to pay a dividend.

The SOEs include the water, power and phone utilities, Air Niugini and Petromin.

The new head of the Independent Public Business Corporation, which oversees the SOEs, Thomas Abe, told the Post Courier the agencies are hampered by political interference.

The executive director of the PNG Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker, says a former prime minister, Sir Mekere Morauta, was largely unsuccessful in his bid to privatise the SOEs ten years ago.

But he says despite the limited time before the June election, he may try to initiate some reforms.

"Clearly Sir Mekere has that drive and he would like to push through some of the reforms that he started over a decade ago, if only to push for some competition, push for some greater vitality in these organisations."