The National, Tuesday October 15th, 2013
WHEN Sir Mekere Morauta was prime minister, he decided to legislate a massive 50% write-off from the contributors’ savings housed in the the National Provident Fund (NPF, now NASFUND).
This was, in fact, a politically-motivated witch hunt in the disguise of a commercial decision using political powers to ensure that the thousands of enraged contributors turned their anger at Jimmy Maladina, Peter O’Neill and others associated with Sir William (Bill) Skate.
What Sir Mekere should have done was to place the NPF in receivership.
He should have then allowed it to repay its debts slowly over a three to five-year period.
Second, the concerned government should have bailed out the ailing superannuation fund with annual grants through the government budget.
Third, the government should have supported responsible government agencies to act on the Commission of Inquiry report.
Instead, Sir Mekere failed to do so.
His administration became a government of obstacles rather than progress.
The write-off could be described as appropriation through legislation.
After that, NASFUND made massive profits using the large portion of fixed assets and investments portfolios remaining after the write-off was performed.
Sir Mekere needs to explain now whether his decision on the NPF at that time was similar to the current action of O’Neill’s government on the PNG Sustainable Development Program and the Ok Tedi Mine.
If not, he should shut up and leave government decisions to O’Neill.
Sir Mekere had his turn as prime minister and showed then that he had little concern for the affected citizens.