DEPUTY Prime Minister and Lands Minister Sir Puka Temu is determined not to let the shortcomings of the Lands Department be a hindrance to his deliverance of the national land development programme.
Sir Puka told Parliament yesterday in a progress report of the programme that not only did the department spend huge amounts of money, but time and resources in ensuring the programme sufficiently encompassed the views of everyone throughout the country, and as such there was no room for failure.
At the department, a new Customary Land division has been established which will be responsible for the administration and functions and responsibilities associated with customary land under the reform programme.
It is also redeveloping the land and geographical information system on land transaction in PNG, allowing it to a certain degree of integrity so that it provides quality service.
Recent and planned research work by National Research Institute (NRI) included the Taurama baseline study; land reform in PNG-quantifying the economic impacts; a case study on urban planning and development issues in Lae and NCD and the land research programme framework.
Sir Puka also told Parliament that their request for a nationwide awareness campaign specifically on the amendments to the recently passed Land Group Incorporation Act and the Land Registration Act will be carried out.
He told Parliament that, in PNG, where land was communally owned, there need to be an
effective land dispute resolution mechanism in place and work was currently being undertaken with assistance from the PNG magisterial services to make the legislation.
“Research showed that significant benefits could accrue to PNGeans by enabling them to more effectively utilise their land under the National Land Development Programme,” Sir Puka said.
“If fully implemented next year, land reform could contribute an additional 1.2% points to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“This means that by 2020, the land reforms would have contributed an extra K12.3 billion to the economy.
“Tax revenues would contribute an extra K2.6 billion a year by 2020 and landowners would earn an extra K500 million a year by 2020,” Sir Puka said.