Govt To Unwind LNG Revenue Conditions

 

 

BY MATTHEW VARI

 

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says his government is in the process to relook at agreements to see foreign revenues from gas sales that find their way into the country.
Responding to the foreign currency woes currently faced, he said with the continuous sale of LNG, a precursor for foreign currency inflows – the agreement signed by past governments were designed unfairly for the country to keep the funds overseas. Mr O’Neill said this when East Sepik Governor Allan Bird asked why the sale of a shipment of gas at US$50 million, every three days, could not alleviate the forex issue.

 
“They have allowed exporters and proponent, developers to park all these revenues overseas. While we are making the exports they have been allowing them to park the money overseas and the money is not coming back into the country.”

 
“That is the reason why we are not receiving enough foreign currency even though we are making the exports,” Mr O’Neill said.

 
“Agreements have been designed very unfairly for Papua New Guinea. There have been of course smart economists in the past always thought that the fear of the Dutch disease, what they call that there is too much foreign currency in the economy.”

 
He said this fear has resulted in the parking of funds outside of the country through the agreements signed by the previous regime that took the lead in the LNG negotiations.
“We are trying to unwind that, talking to some of the project developers that they must bring in foreign currency that is rightfully Papua New Guinea’s back into the country.”

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