The National – Friday, December 24, 2010
By JEFFREY ELAPA
BUSINESS development grants have been paid out to identified landowner companies yesterday morning at the March Girls Resort outside Port Moresby.
However, many other landowners were still waiting outside the Vulupindi Haus to be paid, despite the funds reportedly being released.
Sources within the Department of Commerce and Industry said there were more than 8,000 applications but only 16 legitimate landowner companies were honoured.
The sources added that a total of K89.208 million was to be paid to the 16 companies for spin-off business ventures.
Acting Prime Minister Sam Abal earlier said the government was obliged to ensure all the K120 million was disbursed to all licenced areas within the PNG LNG project.
He said payments had commenced with the sum of K30.792 million paid earlier while K89.208 million was outstanding.
Abal urged landowners to refrain from unnecessary intimidation of government officials and threats to damage public property.
Meanwhile, managing director of Green Field Resource Investment Ltd Timothy Irinaya thanked the acting prime minister for his directive to pay the outstanding grants to the landowners before Christmas.
He thanked the department for the funds released.
However, Irinaya said the department should liaise with ExxonMobil and engineering procurement contractors for contracts so that the purpose was realised and not just to use money to operate trade stores in Port Moresby.