Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare who was the Prime Minister when the IPIC loan was obtained, said it was the best deal the country entered into, and had left no debts. He said the deal was a share swap.
Sir Michael, in a statement said, IPIC loan was a win-win deal that left PNG no debt when it concluded in March of this year, and the people should not be misled.
He said the share was obtained to ensure the government retained maximum share equity in the PNG LNG Project, and was estimated at 19.4 per cent, and to raise funds without increasing government debt, which he said his government worked extra hard, and reduced the debt rate from 72 per cent level in 2002, to 30 per cent level in 2011.
This is the first time that Sir Michael has come out and publicly commented on the IPIC transaction.