By GYNNIE KERO
PRIME Minister James Marape has reminded the landowners of the PNG LNG project that about K1 billion in royalties is awaiting distribution to them – once the clan vetting process is completed.
But he wants them to assist in completing that process, instead of blocking it.
“There are so many court cases filed (by you which are) stopping the process,” he said.
“Complete the process, assist the Department of Petroleum and Energy.
“We want to release these funds (to you) as soon as possible.”
He pleaded with the landowners to “assist the process”.
“We want to assist you to get the money and go back home instead of hanging around in Port Moresby doing nothing,” he said.
He said the K1 billion in royalties was kept at the Bank of Papua New Guinea.
Marape was yesterday focusing on the landowners in the upstream area who had “to be identified” through the clan vetting process before the distribution of the money could begin.
Marape blamed the delay in payment to landowners from petroleum development license (PDL) areas taking out court injunctions to stop the identification and clan vetting processes.
“Most landowner money from PDL 1,7,8,5,6, (remain) in our trust accounts,” he said.
“Close to a K1 billion is still sitting in the Central Bank trust account held by the Treasury and the MRDC (Mineral Resource Development Company).
“This is your entitlement. I appeal to all landowners: Please assist in completing the landowner identification and clan vetting processes.
“Don’t complicate the process by going to court.”
Marape also announced the establishment of the sovereign wealth fund (SWF), saying that for the first time, there is a clear policy on the payment of dividends from resource projects.
“As far as our country is concerned, the law has created that facility (SWF) with 7 per cent of all revenue from resource projects put into a sovereign wealth fund,” he said.
“We intend to use this facility this year.
“This will instill a savings culture in our Government.”
He yesterday received a K100 million dividend payment from the Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd (KPHL).
The Government expects the company to pay another K200 million to meet the full dividend payment of K300 million as appropriated in the 2021 National Budget.
By GYNNIE KERO