Acting Secretary for the Department of Petorleum and Energy, Kepsie Puiye, told Loop PNG that all calculations on how much in royalties to be paid to landowners from Papa, Lea Lea, Porebada, and Boera has been done.
The landowners from the four villages threatened to stop operations at the plant site on Monday (Queens Birthday) over outstanding royalties which have yet to be paid despite concluding all pre-requisites.
Puiye said he had met with the landowners and asked them not to stage the protest until he meets with the Finance Secretary, Dr Ken Ngangan, to discuss the issue.
Chief Secretary to Government, Isaac Lupari, was reported in the media on the issues saying royalties were yet to be calculated.
However, Puiye told Loop PNG that he met with Dr Ngangan on Monday and have resolved the calculations for payments.
“We both agreed that we are ready to pay, the only thing to do is to seek legal clearance from state solicitor’s office, and that letter was delivered to state solicitor’s office on Monday afternoon.
“So I’m waiting for a response from State Solicitor. So once we get the clearance then I re-engage with the finance secretary, who then writes to the Governor of Central Bank, the monies in the central bank will then be released to the respective trust accounts we have with BSP (Bank South Pacific), from there we’ll move the money back to MRDC’s accounts, MRDC will then facilitate on the payments,” he said.
File pix of landowners at the PNG LNG site