Tag Archives: Governance

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.

Announcements On SABL To Be Made This Week

 

 

BY MATTHEW VARI of Post-Courier

A major announcement will be made this week on special agricultural and business lease (SABL), says Lands and Physical Planning Minister, Justin Tkatchenko.

 

These leases have been the subject of much debate both within and abroad in addressing the issues of illegally acquired land leases under the guise of the lease arrangement.

 

Mr Tkatchenko said since his appointment to the ministry, he has ensured that a high-level committee dealt with all the leases.

 

“As you know, we have set up the committee to go through every SABL file and the decision from the commission of inquiry.”

 

“With that, I will be making some very strong and firm and positive decisions on the leases that have already been investigated by the committee,” he said.

 

“There are some serious matters from these SABLs that have come up and the country will be very happy because we have had enough.”

 

He said there has been stealing of public, customary, and other land, where no consultations had ever been done, but his ministry would get to the bottom of the issues before the New Year.

 

“To all the customary landowners, the ILGs, bear with me. We are going to make sure that before the end of this year that most of these issues are resolved.”

 

Tkatchenko assured the landowners that the committee in place is a serious one that sits every week to deliberate.

 

“The committee is not just a giaman (fake) committee set up just to make us look good. They have to work and get outcomes that pleases the situation at hand.”

 

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced in November last year Cabinet’s decision to revoke all SABL titles.

 

Despite the decision, concerns were raised on the slow response of the department responsible in carrying out the revocation process.

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.

Ban On Issuing Firearm Licenses

 

 

BY MICHAEL ARNOLD via Post-Courier

In light of an unprecedented increase in gun- related violence and killings reported in recent months, Police Minister Jelta Wong has declared a ban on the issuance of new firearm licences.

Mr Wong made this declaration yesterday by virtue of the powers conferred under Section 5A (1) of the Firearms Act Chapter 310, and all other enabling powers bestowed on him under the Constitution.

In compliance with this government directive, Police Commissioner Gari Baki, who is also the registrar of firearms, will not entertain new applications for the purchase and issuance of new gun licences.

Mr Wong said the ban, which was instituted yesterday, October 4, will remain in effect for an indefinite period. He said the government is taking this measure because of the increasing number of gun-related violence and killings reported in certain parts of the country in recent times.

The death toll now includes the two police officers killed in Wabag, Enga Province, at the height of the recently concluded 2017 National Election in July, and two in Southern Highlands Province last weekend.

However, according to Mr Wong, the PNG’s disciplinary forces, which include the PNG Defence Force, Police and Correctional Services, are exempted from this ban. A similar moratorium on firearms was issued by the Government in 2000.

Wash Policy Attracting Donor Support

 

Source: Post-Courier

BY MATTHEW VARI 

Picture: Loop PNG

The country’s first water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) policy has attracted the support of various development partners since its introduction in 2015.

 

With the national government’s commitment in having such a policy, it has since enabled focus areas identified to be addressed with increased expression of interest from development partners in the form of water and sanitation projects.

 

Program management unit co-ordinator, Takale Tuna said this when speaking at the Yumi Olgeta media event organised by the United Nations and European Union last week in Port Moresby.

 

As the result of the policy being passed by government we have actually been able to put together a lot of the development partners like World Bank has provided us a loan, EU has provided us some funding through UNICEF to address WaSH in schools and WaSH in health centres.”

 

“Also ADB is looking at peri-urban, which is basically the settlements, but also towns as well.”

 

“Also DFAT (Australia’s Department of Foreign Affair and Trade) have expressed interest and JICA (Japan’s aid program). So just because of the policy and the wash PMU (program management unit) that I head, there has been quiet great interest of the development partners to come around and help us address our water sanitation hygiene access.”

 

The WaSH policy aims to reduce water-borne diseases, reduce the amount of time that women especially spend their time collecting water, and equity issues to marginalised group in accessing water sanitation.

 

“Those are the main goals in terms of government improving the quality of life for Papua New Guineans,” Mr Tuna said.

 

PNG has never had a WaSH Policy and approaches to achieving national targets have been random and unco-ordinated.

 

As a result, access to improved water sources and safe sanitation has been declining in recent years as services fail to keep up with population growth and demand.

Panguna work to cost K18.8 billion

Source: The National

CONSTRUCTION of the Panguna mine is estimated to cost US$4-6 billion (K12.5- K18.8 billion).

 
Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL) secretary Mark Hitchcock said significant tax revenue would be generated in the estimated 25-plus years’ mine life, with operations starting around 2025-26.

 
Hitchcock spoke during the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s (ABG) three-day tax and revenue summit in Buka last week aimed at finding ways to improve the financial outlook for the region and the government’s ability to fund services for its people.

 
Hitchcock was invited to present development of a new Panguna mining project, including its potential revenue and broader economic benefits.

 
Once developed, the mine would generate significant tax revenue over the 25-plus years operational life of the project.

 
The presentation was drawn from an order of magnitude study which was updated late last year.

 
A realistic timeline for the Panguna project will see the mine operational around 2025-26, Hitchcock said, and the potential tax revenue gains had to be viewed as a longer term prospect with no short-term, direct tax generation, although the project’s development and construction period would present income generation opportunities.

 
Hitchcock highlighted the need for certainty in relation to the tax regime that would apply to the project and warned that excessive tax imposts would undermine its viability. “One potential pathway is for the ABG and PNG national government to work towards a joint agreement to provide assurances regarding applicable taxes that would apply over the longterm,” Hitchcock said.

 
In addition to tax revenue, he said the Panguna project would have a wider multiplier effect in terms of economic benefit.

 
“A project of this scale will help stimulate the economy in a multitude of ways in areas such as training and employment, new business opportunities in the supply of goods and services and the provision of new infrastructure to name a few,” he said.

 
Hitchcock congratulated the ABG for holding the tax and revenue summit and said BCL welcomed opportunities to contribute to important policy discussions in Bougainville.

Govt To Continue Focus On Education

Teach Your Child Positively At Home Before Sending Them To School, For First Learning Takes Place At Home. 

 

 

BY LYNETTE KIL of Post-Courier

As long as there is a government under the leadership of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill it will continue to give priority to education. 

 
Education Minister Nick Kuman made this remark during the launching of the tuition fee free policy component of teaching and learning materials at the Port Moresby National High school on Friday.

 
“A lot of critics have negative thoughts on free education most considered as a “political gimmick” but the government has proved them wrong.

 
“Government policy as far as health and education is concerned, will continue to see an investment every year, and that education will feature prominently in the budget,” Mr Kuman said.

 
He urged parents and stakeholders to participate in sharing the government responsibility in enhancing the education of young people.

 
“I call upon the parents, you must not take a step backward and expect government to shoulder all the responsibility, there are a lot more things that you as a parent can do to enhance the education of our children.

 
“In terms of content teacher training, I have been challenging the teachers trainer providers, both Teachers colleges and University of Goroka to ensure that the teachers trained in the institutions must be content oriented,” Mr Kuman said.

 
He acknowledgded the government’s commitment for the last five years, this saw a growth in the number of students and also increased number in female enrollment, which is the government’s achievement in seeing girls getting educated.

 
Mr Kuman warned schools and the teachers that the materials are not for sale and must be given to all children. He said 300 containers containing teaching and learning materials, component of the TFF for the 22 provinces is at the Port Moresby wharf.

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