Posted By Staff Reporter
PNG PRIME Minister James Marape says benefits from resource projects should be shared equally among all provinces.
He made the statement in Parliament on Friday when responding to Western Governor Toboi Awi Yoto who asked whether the Government could transfer 67 per cent equity in Ok Tedi mine, currently held by the Government, to Western.
“Western hosted Ok Tedi mine,” Yoto said. “For the past 38 years, it has been supporting PNG’s economy.
“However, there isn’t any large project or legacy that has been left behind by the project itself for the province.
“Thankfully, the previous government under Peter O’Neill, decided to give the province some shares and in your time as the prime minister, you honoured that commitment and released 33 per cent of the mine’s equity of which the Fly River government has 12 per cent.
Since 2019, we were getting some dividends but this money I feel is not enough to have my people of Western prepared for mine closure in 2025.
“I would like to ask the National Government that the 67 per cent that you now keep, be given back to the people of Western so that for the next four years, I will start to prepare the people when the mine closes,” Yoto said.
Marape said all provinces in the country had needs as well.
“We are in a country, and we must share resources equitably,” he said.
“This is a key part of our Constitution which says resources must be shared equitably.
“I believe the decision by the then-O’Neill government was a fair call, giving back 33 per cent to the province. When the 67 per cent goes to the national budget, we will still pick out some major projects in Western,” he said.
“Governments of Australia and PNG are working towards ensuring that Daru Hospital is not just maintained but it becomes a permanent major hospital.
“From the revenue from the 67 per cent, planning minister is working to ensure two per cent is for tax credit scheme and this money will now be used to seal roads from Kiunga to Tabubil.”
Next : Bank Of PNG Explains Actions Against Bank South Pacific
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