The National, Monday October 21st, 2013
THE PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd (PNGSDP) last Friday pulled the plug on projects worth millions of kina in Western and in PNG.
PNGSDP chairman Sir Mekere Morauta said it regretted to advise that as of last Friday, it was no longer able to continue funding social and economic development projects.
“The company has been forced to make this decision by the actions of the government in expropriating Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) without compensation, and attempting to take control of the company itself,” he said in a statement.
“The Government has deliberately starved PNGSDP of funds by instructing OTML not to pay the 2012 dividend due to the company this year.
“Also, the way in which it has expropriated the mine has been deliberately designed to prevent PNGSDP from accessing the US$1.4 billion (K3.6 billion) Long Term Fund.
“PNGSDP is using its available funds to restructure the business, to prepare for moving operations to Western, and to finance the fight for justice on behalf of the people of Western.
“PNGSDP has examined every possible way of maintaining project funding, but this has proved to be impossible.
“The board and staff of PNGSDP deeply regret the devastating social and economic consequences caused by the actions of the O’Neill Government, especially for the people of Western.
“But the O’Neill Government has left PNGSDP no choice.
“PNGSDP has written to the prime minister advising him of the consequences of his Government’s decisions, and handing back responsibility for financing the completion of all projects.”