By Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The Pacific Maritime Industrial Zone project in Madang will not begin operations as planned.
State Enterprise and Public Investment Minister, William Duma, says this comes as a loan of K900 million has been put on halt, by the Exim Bank of China.
Minister Duma made this statement after being questioned by Deputy Opposition leader Sam Basil, in parliament yesterday.
Deputy Opposition leader, Sam Basil, probed into the alleged use of K12 million for fencing and K18 million used in clearing coconut plantations.
When responding, the State Investment Minister indicated that the project will see a slowdown of events following the withdrawal of the K900 million loan.
Minister Duma says, a reason for this is the time wasted to sort-out landowner issues within the project site.
“We wasted more time fixing landowner issues thus the time to acquire the loan elapsed”, Duma said.
Duma said the delay in landowner issues leaves no option for the Government but re-negotiate with Exim Bank officials to release the funding.
The PMIZ project is a Government priority project and was launched early this year in Madang by the Government and development partners.