Leave the Oil and Gas Act alone

Letters, Normal

I would like to comment on-going debate over the proposed bill by North Fly MP Boka Kondra.
I speak not only for myself but for my children, grandchildren and their children.
Our Constitution is one of the best in the world as it is very binding.
But it is the attitude and greed of people who implement these laws that is contributing to the lack of trickling down impact of development and services to our people.
If only our law enforcing and implementing agencies are honest, then I do not see the reason for the amendment of the Mining Act.
One thing that Mr Kondra has to consider is that all our actions are interlinked.
This means the Mining Act is not an independent act in itself but is also linked to the water, environmental and oil and gas acts.
This means that if we want to change the Mining Act, we will have to change our entire constitution, which I am sure, is the last thing we want to do.
These are some statistics to show how effective our laws work using the Oil and Gas Act as an example.
Whenever, the word “State” is being used in any laws, Oil and Gas Act says interested developer of our oil and gas have certain requirements they have to fulfil before starting operation here.
For example, the 20% levy that each company pays to the State, not to mention the 50% tax for old companies and 45% for new ones of their profits.
The act also has an extra 2% to be paid as royalties to landowners.
If you add all these up, the State, which is technically the people of Papua New Guinea, gets almost 70% of the benefits.
If you understand how this mechanism works, you will appreciate how effective our laws are in retaining major portions from developers.
Yet, this is not reflected in our nation in terms of developments.
That is why it is up to us, the people who are in power to play the ball right so our supporters (ie the people) can enjoy the win at the end of the day.
Leave our Constitution alone, but change the people who handle the Constitution.


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