By HELEN TARAWA
PRIME Minister James Marape has dismissed inferences that multi-national companies were involved in local politics.
Marape yesterday urged Papua New Guineans to refrain from attacking investors.
He said the Porgera mine was being dealt with and the multi-nationals were investment partners with the government.
“This is unnecessary speculations. These investment partners live to the tenure of their contracts they signed up with state parties. (We should) not be offensive to them,” he said.
“The politics is caused by those who want to be prime minister, let me put it simply that way.”
Marape said investors had every right to go to court if they were not satisfied with State decisions.
“In the last three months, there have been negotiations going on without state sacrificing or compromising key principles of the Marape-led government,” he said.
“The key principles include that the Special Mining Lease remains, we have majority stake in the new Porgera, we will not compromise on tax, we will maximise local content and we will maximise landowners spin-off businesses.”
Marape said Barrick had agreed to all the principles that the government had been fighting for.
“That is majority ownership eventually leading to 100 per cent ownership and sitting on the table without compromising our corporate tax,” he said.
“We have reached a point where the Barrick investors have given an undertaking to government that those principles have not been compromised or rejected.
“I don’t want to shut Porgera. We believe in fighting for greater right for our people. I want to get more for our people that must be secured. It’s better sacrificing now to secure what is best for our people.”
By HELEN TARAWA