The National, Wednesday 19th September 2012
By CALDRON LAEPA
PNG Forest Authority managing director Kanawi Pouru has been reinstated.
His suspension by the previous minister, Belden Nama, for granting a forestry licence, was lifted by the National Executive Council on Aug 15. He resumed work on Aug 31.
Minister for Forestry and Climate Change and Aitape-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch announced this as one of the major steps in ensuring that proper procedures and laws were followed in his ministry.
He was suspended last year by the then Minister Belden Namah.
Pruaitch said the past government had taken” short cuts” and provided poor leadership.
“At Forests Ministry, my vision is to lead and expect public servants to follow rule of law and due processes. There will be no short cuts.
“Leaders who take short cuts would be regarded an unprincipled leader.
“That is what we found in the Forests Ministry when we formed the government. Only leaders with integrity would restore investors’ confidence,” Pruaitch said.
He said he would work on sorting out the National Forestry Board as the next step in restoring good leadership.
Meanwhile, he said there were important issues in forestry that needed to be dealt with professionally ethically and due process.
He said he wanted to restore leadership with integrity and respect for laws and due processes in Forest Ministry.
He said issue related to Forest Management Agreements, Timber Permits, Timber Authorities and Forest Clearance Authorities.
He said there had been a lot of misunderstanding and ill advise given in the previous government.
“Another bad mistake or misinformation is the Special Agriculture Lease (SABL), were responsibilities of Forests Ministry. Truth is it is the responsibility of the Department of Lands.
“There is also another major leadership issue .It Log Export Development Levy. At present the levy is controlled by trust account held by the Department of National Planning. Allegation of abuse of funds has been brought to my ministry and I would be taking the matter to the Prime Minster and the Minister for National Planning to ensure PNG Forest Authority has direct aces and control over the funds,” Pruaitch said.