National Planning Minister

Minister to seek assistance with census

Minister Basil said this after an intense meeting with National Statistical Office team, led by acting National Statistician John Igitoi over the weekend in Buang, Bulolo, Morobe Province.

The preparations for the 2020 National Census are lagging behind by four months due to a combination of leadership management crisis and the untimely release of required funding.

The leadership crisis is awaiting legal advice from Office of the State Solicitor for the Department of Personnel Management to progress the matter further.

Minister shocked

An unexpected visit by Minister Richard Maru to his former school alerted him to the years of neglect faced by the Mount Hagen Technical College, which in turn has affected student intake.

The Mount Hagen Technical College is currently facing shortage in staff housing, water supply and has rundown buildings and outdated equipment.

Touring the campus on the 16th of July, the Minister was advised by the school’s board of governors that most of the buildings have not been renovated since his attendance in 1977 and 1978.

Minister thanks Cabinet for support

Minister Richard Maru said the Government is aiming to raise K1 billion between 2019 and 2022 to fund major infrastructure projects in both resource and non-resource provinces, which have been planned for in the Medium Term Development Plan III.  

He announced that the first project to be funded under the new-look ITCS will be the Gulf to Southern Highlands Highway 12km final missing link. This will be done at a cost of K50 million, up to the sealing stage.

ACP-EU negotiations: PNG Minister meets with Commissioner

Minister Richard Maru met with Neven Mimica February 25th on the margins of the high level political dialogue of the Pacific ACP and the European Union.

The purpose of the bilateral discussions was basically to take forward critical matters that need to progress in the cooperation that the European Union has with PNG, including other areas of the relations that can be advanced and strengthened.

Discussions centered on the following key areas:

Maru upset with donor partners

While speaking at the launching of the Department of Community Development’s annual operational plan, Maru urged donor partners to work closely with Government agencies instead of running parallel programs.

“You do not come into our country and run parallel programs and decide for yourself what the priorities are. And you run programs using Government institutions,” said the minister.

“I don’t want 10 experts from somewhere else coming here when there are so many local experts here as well.

‘State Equity Fund’ in 2018 Budget

National Planning Minister, Richard Maru, said the funding will be used to attract investors to partner the Government in key projects.

The initiative is to see more Public-Private Partnership (PPP) involvement in economic growth.

Minister Maru announced during the Inaugural National Agriculture Summit yesterday that the ‘State Equity Fund’ is one of the strategies undertaken by the Government to partner private investors.

​Water, sanitation survey to be conducted

National Planning Minister Richard Maru stressed the importance of WASH baseline data recently during the project closing of the seawater desalination project in Manus.

He called on the Government and development partners to fund an urgent nationwide survey on water and sanitation.

Papua New Guinea’s first WASH policy highlights that more than 75 percent of Papua New Guinea’s rural population and 85 percent of the country’s urban population are expected to have better access to improved water and sanitation by 2030.

​Locals challenged to maintain project

Speaking during the closing of the saltwater desalination pilot project on Tuesday at Bipi Island, Minister Maru said the people of Manus were very privileged to benefit from such projects.

This project converts beach well water into fresh drinking water, using the technology of reverse osmosis and solar power.

He said many other atoll provinces, who also experience water shortage during the dry seasons, would want to have this but Manus is privileged.

"It’s a big investment. And delivering it here is more expensive than other places," Minister Maru said.

Cabinet approves Brisbane flights for Mt Hagen and Alotau

National Planning Minister, Charles Abel announced on social media on Friday that cabinet has approved direct flights to Brisbane from Gurney and Kagamuga airports.

“I want Air Niugini’s F70 to do the international run and Link PNG to pick up at Losuia, Popondetta and Tokua airports,” he said.

It will run Brisbane - Gurney - Pom – Brisbane. Hagen will serve Wewak, Madang, Mendi and Goroka.

“Cabinet endorsed on Thursday direct flights from Brisbane to Gurney and Brisbane to Hagen when their new terminal is completed,” Abel said.