Morauta: Onus is on PM

National, Normal

The National, Monday October 21st, 2013

 PAPUA New Guinea Sustainable Development Program Ltd chairman Sir Mekere Morauta says the ball is now in Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s court to ensure the continuation of projects worth K249.3 million in Western and the country.

He said 43 projects in Western worth K191.8 million had been forced to close or stop, with 54 projects in other parts of the country worth K57.5 million.

Sir Mekere wrote to O’Neill last Friday to inform him of the damaging consequences of the “Government’s expropriation, without payment, of Ok Tedi Mining Ltd and your personal instructions to OTML not to pay to PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd the 2012 dividend due earlier this year”. 

“As of today, PNGSDP has closed all its projects because those decisions have deliberately starved the company of funds and prevented it from drawing on the Long Term Fund,” he said.

“The O’Neill Government’s decisions mean that thousands of people in villages across the country – many of them in the most remote and disadvantaged areas – will go without desperately needed social and economic development projects. 

“The most severe and long-lasting impact of your Government’s decisions will be felt in Western.”

These include :

  • The rehabilitation and expansion of the Daru water and sewerage systems;
  • PNGSDP’s scholarship schemes for promising Western students;
  • classrooms and teachers’ housing, aid posts and health workers’ housing;
  • church-based health and education programmes;
  • village power, water supplies;
  • Western rubber wealth-creation scheme, and,
  • Transport infrastructure like roads, bridges and jetties. 

“Many PNGSDP projects involved the company doing the Government’s job,” Sir Mekere said in the statement said. 

“For example, funding the Daru water and sewerage project, funding the Daru Trestle Wharf, part-funding Daru Airport, part-funding repairs to Daru Hospital and a host of others.”