Pruaitch removed as PNG Treasurer

4:02 pm on 12 May 2017

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, has removed Patrick Pruaitch as the Treasurer and made him a minister without portfolio.

Mr O'Neill said this was to maintain confidence in the economy and ensure responsible administration of the Treasury portfolio.

Papua New Guinea Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch (clutching folders) listens to Prime Minister Peter O'Neill (pointing finger) in parliament.

You're fired: Patrick Pruaitch (holding files) has been removed as Treasurer by Peter O'Neill (pointing finger) Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The Post Courier reports the prime minister saying that recent comments from Mr Pruaitch had only served to undermine the work of the Treasury, making his position untenable.

Last month Mr Pruaitch severed links with the rest of the government by claiming the country's economy had "fallen off a cliff" under the present administration.

This week he criticised the government for supposedly withholding police funding for the election, a claim that the chief secretary Isaac Lupari has dismissed.

Meanwhile, it has been estimated the total PNG government debt is $US7.39 billion dollars.

That is from former University of Technology vice chancellor and diplomat, Sir Nagora Bogan.

He said this included debt hidden away in state corporations and a massive escalation in debt servicing costs.

Sir Nagora told PNG Today the credibility of PNG is maligned and in tatters.

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