Logging funds going to those entitled to it, says Marape


THE Finance Department is working in consultation with Forestry to distribute funds to areas that are entitled to log export levies, Minister James Marape says.
He told Parliament in response to West New Britain Governor Sasindran Muthuvel’s question about disbursement of log export levy funds. He said the funds were pooled for Finance to distribute to districts and provinces that had logging operations.
“We’ve done that in a fairest manner as much as we can. Submissions do come in not directly to Finance,” Marape said.
“We are trying to shift away from all submissions coming directly to Finance and also National Planning and Treasury where we sit down and manage at the macro level.
“We allow sectors concerned to handle funds that are appropriated and allow by law the guidelines put in place as to how project components are submitted.
“We have shifted away from direct proposals by individuals or landowner companies and are utilising district and provincial mechanisms so they vet the project proposals so long as the project proposals are consistent to the district plan and provincial plan and they emanate from those bodies.”
Marape said the government bodies then submitted through PNGFA and together they lobbied for the funds which were then remitted to provinces or districts for them to ensure that proper procurement processes took place at those levels of government.
Marape said the funds would continue to be disbursed in partnership with Finance and Forestry.
“I appeal to the districts and provinces that have forest operations that as you submit for projects, may I ask you to be considerate of the specific impacted areas,” he said.
“Consider projects that are very particular to those areas to avoid landowners coming directly to us with complaints that their MP has directed the funds elsewhere.”