Time to regulate royalty payments

Letters, Normal

Royalties paid to landowners of major mining and petroleum development projects should be strictly regulated to ensure the money is put to good use. 
At present, nearly all of what they get is spent without a thought for those back in the villages, who continue to suffer.
The worst affected are the children as the money is not being used to educate them.
These landowners do not know how to invest the money because they themselves are illiterate and do not realise that the resources are non-renewable.
There are many examples in PNG of forest resource owners whose lives and land have been ruined because of their own ignorance.
A study on the changes in the quality of life as a direct result of royalty payments should be conducted. 
I call on the Government to fund the National Research Institute and other relevant agencies to conduct this study.
A legislation should then be passed by Parliament based on the results of the study.
Landowners have been demanding for an increase in their stakes in benefits sharing agreements lately.
Their demands may be provided for by law but I am not sure if the people are genuine. 
Their ability to better their lives from the money handed out leaves a lot be desired.
We are allowing our rich resource owners to be spoilt by money they never dreamt of receiving without raising a sweat. 
Let us help them quickly before they sink further into the quicksand. 
They are potential contributors towards achieving a sustainable national economy if they are encouraged to invest their money in economically viable businesses or projects.
And by the way, do not introduce the dole system. 
I would prefer an increase school subsidies or free education, and introduce a medi-care health policy for everyone.


Emmanuel Xavier