Charles Abel

ITC review update

Deputy Prime Minister, Charles Abel, said the review will be held after the National Planning Consultative Summit in Lae.

He said the aim of the review will be identify loopholes in the implementation of the ITC schemes.

A review of the ITC is one of the recommendations in the PNG Extractive Industry Transparency initiative (EITI) 201 Report.

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, announced the temporary stop to the ITC early this year.

Deputy PM to launch PNG EITI reports

The reports, concurrently compiled last year, cover the fiscal years 2015 and 2016 and encompass large scale mining, oil and gas projects that were in production.

PNGEITI Head of Secretariat, Lucas Alkan, said: “The reports list 9 reporting entities from mining sector and 7 entities from the oil and gas sector that made material payments to the government in 2015 and 2016.

“It also lists 7 SOEs and 8 relevant government departments that received these payments in the same years.”

Justify your existence, public servants told

This was the challenge issued by Deputy Prime Minister, Charles Abel, during the public service dedication service yesterday.

Promoting honesty and faithfulness in public service was the theme for the mass, which was hosted by the Department for Community Development, Youth and Religion at the Sir John Guise indoor complex.

Abel highlighted mostly challenges the public servants will have to put up with in regards to major events that the country will be hosting, like the 2018 APEC Leaders’ Summit.

Treasurer meets with Nambawan Super

Abel stated that the recent National Court decision on the liability to Nambawan Superannuation Fund is part of the debt that accrued before 2009 from unfunded state superannuation contribution for public servants.

“The Government has been paying all fortnightly contribution since then and gradually paying down the inherited debt through budget appropriations such as the K150 million in this year’s budget,” he said.

Tariffs not revenue generating measure: Abel

Responding to the Opposition’s media statement early this week, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel, says he believes the tariffs introduced will not have a huge impact on prices, while the long term goal is boost the local industry.

In statement released on Monday, the Shadow Treasury and Finance Minister, Ian Ling-Stuckey, said PNG families will be facing much higher prices in 2018 because of poor Government policies.

Deputy PM clears air on NSO claims

Abel said these rumours were baseless allegations from certain individuals who have been periodically raising them on social media.

The DPM was clarifying queries raised after recent posts on the social media site Facebook speculating that National Statistician allegedly misappropriated a total of K200 million which was supposed to be used for the National Identification (NID) project.

It was also claimed that Koloma misappropriated K44m from the NSO Recurrent funding and K6m meant for NSO Reform funds.

SIM card registration extended to January 23

Minister Abel has been in consultation with the Minister responsible for Communications, Information Technology and Energy, Sam Basil who has received advice from NICTA on the registration deadline extension.

“Minister Basil and I have considered the issues surrounding the SIM Card Registration Regulation, and I am fully aware of the implications of registration deadline,” the Acting Prime Minister said.

“The extension to 23 January 2018 will minimise the potential for disruptions to phone users while ensuring network security is enhanced.

Landlords shut offices without notice: Abel

The departments of lands and health have no office to operate in after being closed up by landlords last week.

Abel said the Government is responding and will sort out the rentals sometime this week.

“There’s a range of outstanding issues that need to be tidied up over the coming weeks, which are challenges the Government needs to solve.”

Meanwhile, he said the Government will tidy up all its books before the close of accounts today (Monday) at 4:06pm.

“I am going to do a good tidy of all books.

PNG moving away from tied loans

He said the Government has learnt from experience and is now negotiating loans which have better terms for the country.

He said this following the signing of a concessional loan with the Czechoslovakian EXIM Bank for K172 million (Euro 55 million) for the Boram Hospital Upgrade Project.

Abel said given the experience of the China EXIM Bank loan, which had tied conditions, the PNC-led coalition is now working to move away from such arrangements.

Govt committed to paying Hides LOs

Acting Prime Minister Charles Abel however says various court cases have stopped the Government from doing so.

Abel said it’s a very complex issue and would like some of the court issues settled quickly so that the money is released.

He said numerous court issues have stalled clan vetting, which once completed, will finally see all landowners being paid their royalties.

“We’re committed to pay that money. We were ready to pay.  It’s the issues amongst the landowners,” he said.