PM queried over funds

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday October 9th, 2013

 SIR Mekere Morauta has urged Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to tell the people, especially from Western, what has happened to the Government funds received from the Ok Tedi mine.

“From 2002 to the end of 2012, the Government received a net K11.2 billion from the mine –  K6.9 billion in taxes and charges and K4.3 billion in dividends,” he said.

“On a pro-rata basis, the O’Neill Government would have received almost K2 billion between August 2011 and August 2013.”

Sir Mekere said there was very little to show in Western for these vast amounts of money.

“From 2002 to 2012, the PNGSDP received a net K5 billion in dividends,” he said.

“From that money, it has spent about K650 million in Western, K537 million in the rest of the nation, and saved US$1.4 billion for the province after the mine closure. We can account for all our money.

 “The question is; where has all the Government’s money gone? The people of Western are entitled to an answer.

“I challenge the Prime Minister to hold an independent public inquiry into the use of its funds in the province. 

“The inquiry should have the power to compel public servants and politicians to give answers, and the power to recommend prosecutions.”

Sir Mekere suggested that the inquiry should investigate:

• Why Daru Hospital is in such a shocking state;

• Why the PNGSDP had to step in and do the Government’s job by funding the rehabilitation and expansion of Daru’s water and sewerage systems;

• Why PNGSDP had to pay for the Daru Trestle Wharf rehabilitation; and

• Why PNGSDP had to do the Government’s job and pay for the rehabilitation and expansion of Daru Airport.

“Building and fixing Government infrastructure and providing government services such as education and health are not PNG Sustainable Development Program’s responsibility,” Sir Mekere said.

“They are Government responsibilities.”