Indian Exim Bank loan still in discussions

Negotiations are continuing with the Indian Exim Bank on a K300 million (K299,490,865.53) loan for three projects in Papua New Guinea.

Treasurer, Patrick Pruaitch, says negotiations are ongoing as there are arrangements which need to be adhered too before an agreement is made.

Pruatich said this in response to West New Britain Governor, Sasindran Muthuvel,, in Parliament today when queried on the $US100 million commitment made by the Indian President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, when visiting PNG last year.

Muthuvel said part of the loan is earmarked for his Province and wanted to know what the delay was in facilitating the loan which has a very low interest rate compared to other institutions.

“What is the delay in processing that $US100 million especially at this time when we need foreign currency? And these money is meant for three earmarked projects which my province stands to benefit,” said Muthuvel.

The money has been earmarked for the Kimbe Highway in West New Britain Province; refurbishing of the Mount Hagen National  and Supreme Courts; and the Madang-Baiyer Road.

Pruaitch said the state needed to satisfy requirements by the Indian Exim Bank before the loan is agreed on facilitated to PNG. In the meantime negotiations continued.

“Once we finalize the negotiations we will enter into an agreement with the Indian Exim Bank and therefore we can start to drawdown on any facilities that is available to us through that particular Bank,” he said.

In a supplementary questions to Pruaitch on the issue of loans, Hela Governor Francis Potape, said such loans should benefit the majority of Papua New Guineans in all provinces and the Minister should make it his business to do so.

Pruaitch said right now the allocations of such funds are dependent on projects however, the Government will begin advising development partners on how the funds are managed to ensure it covers a wide range of projects around the country.

Cedric Patjole