Marape promises B’ville K1bil in aid

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PRIME Minister James Marape has promised the people of the Autonomous Region K1 billion over the next 10 years in assistance.
He told the Bougainville House of Representatives after a Cabinet meeting at Kubu on Buka, that the K100 million would be paid annually over the next 10 years as “key economic enablers”.
“Economic independence must precede every other conversation,” Marape said.
“The rest of PNG and Pacific neighbours around us had gained political independence but are still struggling economically.
“This infrastructure plan goes very much in line with our new vision to make our country and our region of Bougainville economically independent.
“Today I come to your House of Representative to firstly say sorry to you if the Government in Waigani has not fully recognised your ownership of inherent rights over your resources, a principle in my view can never be compromised if we are to truly remain a country of a thousand tribes but still remaining united in diversity.”
He said in the case of Bougainville, the Government would transfer full revenue raising powers to the regional government.
“We will monitor your collections in fisheries, forestry, agriculture and other industries that you may choose to undertake,” he said.
“In the course of our referendum activities and vote, I encourage us to rally the Melanesian consensus spirit of conversations that give us forever peace and prosperity here in Bougainville and PNG.”
The Joint Supervisory Body (JSB)meeting will be held in Buka today.

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