The Board of PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP) has come to a consensus to handover all its projects.
PNGSDP Chairman, Sir Mekere Morauta, says it was starved off from receiving dividends for two years since the government took over its shares from Ok Tedi last year.
One of the biggest projects handed over by PNGSDP was the Daru Water and Sewerage Upgrade worth over K50 million.
The PNGSDP depends heavily on dividends from its share in Ok Tedi to source many of the projects in Western Province and parts of PNG. But when the government took over last year, there was no dividend paid out to PNGSDP for the last two years.
Chairman, Sir Mekere Morauta, says a good US$700 million in dividends could have continued many of the projects including the Daru Water and Sewage Upgrade, Tawoi Point Wharf Upgrade, and Western Power.
The Certificate of Transfer for the project was presented to the Managing Director of Water PNG, Raka Taviri. He pleaded for the government to help complete the Daru Township Water and Sewerage project because it is a project that requires major rehabilitation and installation of new systems which require over K50 million.
Western Province Governor, Ati Wobiro, says he will see that the project gets the necessary government funding needed. He also told the people that they have to come up with their own arrangements and structures that can be transparently used to source funding for projects in the province.
As to the future of PNGSDP, it will no longer exist in its current form but will be scaled – down. PNGSDP currently has a case in Singapore where the State has been given until February 17 to submit a response. PNGSDP recently submitted a compromise solution to the dispute and one of the aspect is that it will drop its legal actions against the State, once the government executes the deed. The compromise solution to the dispute between it and the government was offered to the Prime Minister’s Eminent Person’s Group, on a without prejudice basis.
PNGSDP Chairman Sir Mekere Morauta said the proposal offered a fair, constructive solution to the dispute over the state’s expropriation of Ok Tedi, without compensation and its attempts to take control of PNGSDP.
The compromise deals with a number of aspects of the dispute which includes modest compensation to PNGSDP for expropriation of the shares.
Legislation to repeal parts of the Government’s Tenth Supplemental Agreement Act passed last year and guarantees of protection to PNGSDP and its board and management. An amended definition of mine closure so PNGSDP can immediately resume development funding for Western Province, once the government secures agreement with BHP Billiton. Generous payment terms allowing the State to pay compensation over an extended period.
Sir Mekere said the dispute was not of PNGSDP’s making but it is happy to try to resolve it in a spirit of compromise and in the best interest of the people of Western Province.
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