Category Archives: Finance

Kerowagi To Have New Airstrip

October 18, 2017

 

Source: Post-Courier

 

BY LYNETTE KIL 

The people of Kerowagi district in Chimbu Province will soon have access to a new airstrip after more than 70 years.

The last flight out of Kerowagi was in 1935 by an airplane run by the Lutheran Church.

Local MP and Vice Minister for Mining Bari Palma initiated the airstrip project as one of the major impact projects for the district.

“This project will become the major catalyst for the creation of a local based economy that will benefit the people in a big way.

“I’ve got bigger plans for the district. All I want is total cooperation from the landowners whose land will be affected by projects,” Mr Palma said.

“If we want more developments we need to free up land and allow contractors to mobilise their equipment and freely engage in the contracts awarded to them.” He said landownership issues have always remained a major hindrance to development.

The first phase of the 1.4km runway clearing has been completed last week and this week, the local contractor Kaiaworks Engineering Limited is into the second phase with gravelling and compacting.

Mr Palma said there are plans in place to open up the airstrip for both Simbu and neighboring Jiwaka provinces adding that would encourage business opportunities to thrive in the region.

“As part of my long term vision, I wish to open up Kerowagi as a central highlands economic hub by which the airstrip is seen as a focal point for all economic activities,” he said.

“There’s a MOU already in place with the Outback Aviation in Australia. The company will take Kerowaghi as its central area of business and further improvements will be done to the airstrip to make it reach the national standards to serve the people well.”

First Secretary David Dom and other support officers including Thomas Kela, Joseph Wamil and Kagl Kua said the project on the ground is within scope and well coordinated to meet the deadline requirements.

They said the people of Kerowaghi highly commended the MP for initiating such an impact project that will be of benefit to the general populace.

Meanwhile, the Kundiawa airport is currently not in use despite major rehabilitation work done by the National Airports Corporation (NAC).

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Kuman Confident Of Growth In Education

Source: Post-Courier

 

BY JERRY SEFE 

Education Minister Nick Kuman is confident that the education sector is rapidly advancing due to the government’s firm commitment.

Mr Kuman said this last week when wishing the Grade 10s around the country “best of luck” in their national exams while acknowledging the government’s firm support with the tuition fee free (TFF) policy over the years.

He said the continuing commitment of the government is reflected in the “follow-on national education plan” (NEP) which builds on the many successes that the government has achieved in education in recent years, as well as learning from its mistakes.

“The NEP provides a roadmap for implementing the government’s commitment by providing education and training in technical and vocational skills that are essential for human development and building the nation,” Mr Kuman said.

The minister also said the focus today is to ensure that all the people of Papua New Guinea have the opportunity to have access to education and training that they are entitled to as citizens.

“Papua New Guineans must not be left out on education because of various contributing factors such as age groups, everyone is entitled to education and learning does not stop there,” he said.

“Basically our point and focus is on improving quality of education standard and take into account of widespread consultation as well gender equality which is a cross-cutting issue reflected in the plan all for a positive outcome of quality leaning.”

Proposed policy to declare revenue

Source: Loop PNG

9th October 2017.

 

The Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGH) says it is working to introduce a policy for stakeholders in the mining industry to declare any revenue received or made from mining projects.

 

Secretary Harry Kore told Loop PNG that the policy idea came about during consultations for the Revised Mining Act.

 

He said while there are reports of mining revenue generated, a lot of locals impacted by mining activities claim to not see any tangible results.

 

Kore said the policy will ensure stakeholders such as provincial governments, authorities such as the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), Mineral Resources Development Cooperation (MRDC), as well as landowner association chairmen and landowner company CEOs declare revenue received for the benefit of all.

 

“You fail to do that and you will be held accountable and you will be penalised under the law. So it becomes a practise. Every quarter they just declare their interest. We know that so much money goes to our landowners but whether it trickles down to the peoples is another thing,” said Kore.

 

The policy idea is similar to a draft legislation currently being drawn up by the PNG Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative to make mandatory all revenue from the mineral, petroleum and gas sectors to be fully disclosed as per good governance standards.

 

Kore said they are yet to have formal discussions regarding the policy idea however, there is cooperation and the policy complements that of the work the EITI is undertaking.

 

Secretary Kore added that one of the agendas of the policy is to ensure there is sustainability in how revenue is invested back in the country.

Loans Software Boost SMEs

 

Source: Post-Courier

 

K79 million in loans has been approved and given to small to medium enterprises in the country through Bank South Pacific’s Lendfast software to date.

 
Trade Commerce and Industry Minister Wera Mori said the project has created a platform to enhance the loan underwriting standards to achieve positive results.

 
Mr Mori said under this platform, the bank has so far approved 254 SME loans worth K16 million for the Highlands region, 413 for Momase (K21m) , 299 for New Guinea Islands (K17m) , 77 for Southern (K5m) and 351 for NCD(K20m).

 
He said the K79 million in loans being lent have resulted in SMEs creating new jobs and income opportunities for Papua New Guineans, which is in line with the government’s overall policy direction under the SME policy and the master plan to create 300,000 new SMEs with 2-million new jobs.

 
“The Medium Term Development Plan also identifies poverty alleviation through SME employment and income generation.

 
“Therefore, we will continue to support this policy objective by working along with our key development partners and stakeholders,” he said.

 
Mr Mori said the PNG SME access to finance project under the department has partnered with the World Bank and its stakeholders and provides capacity building to provincial commerce divisions throughout the country, trained-36 business development officers in 22 provinces and trained 774 SMEs over the last five years.

 
“Today we acknowledge and witness another milestone achieved by Bank South Pacific in the successful rollout of the loan originating platform to enhance loan underwriting standards.

 
“I thank Mr Fleming and his senior management team for successfully rolling out the loan originating system, the Lendfast software throughout BSP network of branches.
It gives me great confidence to work with your team of staff from the SME Smart Business Unit for working tirelessly to ensure the loan originating system is fully rolled out,” he said.

 
Other partners who supported in the roll out include World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Department of Treasury and National Planning.

State assures landlords all rentals will be paid

Source: The National

By LUKE KAMA 
ALL rentals for State agencies and statutory authorities will be paid before December, Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan says.

 
He issued a statement yesterday after staff of a government ministry and a statutory authority were locked out of their office by the property owner because of  non-payment of rentals or lease by the Government amounting to several millions of kina.

 
Steamships, through its joint venture partner Kelton Investments, which is managing Pacific Rumana, locked out the staff of the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Climate Change and the staff and management of the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa) from their office at bmobile Building in Waigani this week.

 
Steamships general manager corporate affairs, David Toua told The National yesterday that numerous attempts to collect rental arrears totalling several million kinas from the State were unsuccessful and the only option they had was to lock the office.

 
“Cepa has indeed been locked out by the property manager, Kelton Investments, due to non-payment of significant rental arrears, a situation that has been agreed by both partners,” Toua said.
“Our numerous attempts to collect rental arrears that totalled several million kina and stretch back as far as a year ago have all been unsuccessful, and a lockout is the only avenue left to pursue, short of taking the matter to court.”

 
Toua said Steamships was aware that the action was not without precedent, noting a number of tenant lockouts from commercial properties in recent weeks.

 
“We would prefer not to take these drastic measures and still hope that an amicable settlement of outstanding rentals can be reached,” he
said.

 
“The recent provisions in the supplementary budget and comments by Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan give us encouragement that this will be the case.”

 
Ngangan told The National yesterday that the Government had already allocated K50 million in the supplementary budget to cater for rentals and the Office of the Chief Secretary was working on the allocation to draw down the funds.

 
“We have seen Government offices been locked down by landlords due to arrears and the message we gave was that funding will be made available in the supplementary budget,” he said.

 
“The Government has already allocated K50 million for office rentals.
“Let me assure the property owners to be patient and allow our officers to use their office space.

 
“We will have these outstanding arrears settled before December.”

US agency funds K3.3m climate change projects

Source: The National
Photo: Mark Godfrey via Nature Conservancy

United State Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded four new community-based conservation and climate-change projects in the country at a cost of $US1.04million (K3.3million), a representative of the fund providers says.

 
During the project’s awards presentations to the four recipients in Port Moresby yesterday, Peter Collier, the chief of party at the Pacific-American Climate Fund which funded the projects, highlighted the strong partnership needed to produce durable results.

 
“The Pacific-American Climate Fund is committed to fund and improve environment protection and biodiversity conservation and climate change projects in the Pacific, including PNG,” Collier said.

 
“To realise tangible outcomes, all stakeholders and project partners at the national, sub-national down to the local communities need to work together to make it happen.”

 
Deputy managing director for the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (Cepa) Dilu Muguwa said those donor agencies and multilateral partners were showing great interest in conservation efforts in the country though government support through funding allocation was less.

 
“The donor partners like USAID, United Nations Development Programme, Japanese International Cooperation Agency and other multilateral partners and donors are doing well to support conservation projects but the issue we have is working in parallel with the established state agencies like Cepa,” Muguwa said.

 
“So in the future, we are looking at addressing these issues so that there is proper management in place to ensure we have an effective and transparent management system in place so projects are managed well to tangible outcomes on the ground.”

Govt to pay K1.8m debt to restart lands dept project

Source: The National

The Government, through its supplementary budget, will pay a K1.8 million outstanding debt to Australian software company TechnologyOne Ltd to resume the Land and Geographical Information System (Lagis) project.

Lands and Physical Planning Minster Justin Tkatchenko said Lagis was an important programme that had been delayed for more than four years due to outstanding bills.

 
He said parliament passed the supplementary budget last week in which the Lagis project was included.

 
“With that funding, it will free up the debt that has been created over the last four years and will now allow us to open up the land enhancement application programme (LEaP),” he said.

 
“This will start the process of ensuring that we have information ready to roll out as soon as possible and get that computer system up and running so we can register all our land documents, our land titles and all our surveys. Anything to do with our land titles will all be scanned, documented and put into the system.

 
“It will take till the end of the year to get the system running.

 
“I’m very appreciative of the foresight and the understanding of the Treasurer Charles Abel and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in putting in the K1.8 million to resolve a long outstanding issue.

 
“It’s called getting on with the job and getting things done.”

 
Tkatchenko said an annual fee of K1 million would be maintained in the Lands Department as recurrent budget every year.

 
He said the department would have to follow up and ensure that payment was made for the project to resume.

 
“Now that parliament has approved the supplementary budget, it’s for the Lands Department, with the State Solicitor’s clearance, to have the debt cleared and confirmed the correct amount and Treasury would pay.

 
“The funding is to maintain the system to provide the software and updates and the appropriate programmes and information, and to be on call to service the system.”

 
Tkatchenko said the original cost was about K3.2 million but they had negotiated to reduce it because the system had been off for the past four years.

 
“Once the system comes back on, a refresher course would be conducted for all staff involved in the project,” he said.

 
“It’s a big system which will take a lot of data, with the entry of lot of programmes that requires memory. That’s why the cost is high.

 
“That will ensure that the public has access to electronic copies of their titles and information. Everything will be cleared on electronic file.”

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