Probe on K113m seed money

Business, Normal

The National, Monday October 28th, 2013


THE Government will investigate a K113 million seed capital payment to the landowners involved in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) and Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) projects, Trade Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru (pictured)  says. 

Maru said  K111 million given to LNG landowners in Southern Highlands and Hela provinces and another K2 million to the two umbrella companies of the PMIZ project in Madang would be scrutinised to find out if the funds were used as intended.

He said the Government will look into the business development projects under LNG project agreement and as well as the seed capital given to Kananam Investment Ltd and Rehammb Holdings Ltd, the two umbrella companies of the PMIZ project. 

“Word was received that such funds were misused … I now call upon the management of the landowner companies and groups to cooperate and get their accounts in order so that when the auditing team is ready, it would get straight into auditing the funds,” Maru said. 

The minister, who gave the directions yesterday during a media briefing, said financial audits of all business development grants (BDG) disbursed by National Government through the Trade, Commerce and Industry Department to these landowner groups were very important to the Government.

He said it was the only way if seed money in millions of kina was being used properly by the recipient organisations.

Maru said the audit reports would assist the Government to ensure accountability, stop financial abuse and determine further BDG disbursement protocols so that such government investments were fully appreciated but the people. 

He said the Auditor General would appoint independent financial auditors to begin work shortly.