NIP set for autonomy

National, Normal


THE New Ireland government  has given its provincial autonomy committee the green light to finalise specific areas for draw-down of powers under the national governments power sharing policy.
This follows a series of consultative meetings with the chief secretary and the Department of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs.
The provincial executive council (PEC), during its meeting in August, endorsed the strategy by the autonomy committee to progress discussions in the areas of goods and services tax (GST), economic sector priorities, the Kavieng General Hospital transfer from the Health Department, Buluminski highway maintenance transfer from Works Department, reserved seats for women deputy presidents in LLGs and the creation of Lihir district.
The PEC also directed the provincial administrator to review a report on the alleged gross violation of various laws of Papua New Guinea by Simberi Gold Corporation Ltd in its recruitment of workers and conduct of activities on the island.
The report detailed the findings of the national government and provincial government authorities on their second visit to Simberi and review recommendations to the state for de-licencing of the company.
In other decisions, the PEC approved a business plan by New Ireland Sea Products Ltd to operate an ultra-low longline and cold storage processing plant in Kavieng but directed investigation into the New Ireland Sports Club on question of breach of liquor licence.
 The provincial cabinet also revoked the appointment of Kunibet Kanai on the board of New Ireland development corporation and noted the passing of late Roboam Silas and resignation of Eladin Sakias as government representative, replacing him with Moses Makis.
The government had also taken note of a paper on investigations into alleged fraud cases within the province and directed the provincial administrator to seek funding assistance from the police commissioner and other state agencies to underwrite cost of the investigations and prosecution.