Bougainville News : President Momis to PNG Government “show me our money”

 

M O

The Panguna Mine funded PNG’s development from 1972 to 1989. Now, at the Peace talks, the PNG Government agreed to fund Bougainville’s restoration through a guaranteed share of PNG’s development budget,” President Momis said

Financing the Autonomous Bougainville Government according to the Bougainville Peace Agreement and the PNG constitutional laws is not a new program or an option for the National Government.

ABG President Chief Dr John Momis made this bold statement during the Joint Supervisory Board Meeting in Kokopo last Friday as he pointed out the National Government’s lax attitude in funding the ABG’s Restoration Development Grant.

“My Cabinet and I are getting more and more annoyed when we hear National Government officers and sometimes minister speaking of Bougainville’s requests for funding of the RDG as though these are new claims,” the President said.

“Our government’s entitlements are written into the Constitution of Papua New Guinea. Each government may share some blame for not getting this right from 2005, but that does make the provisions any less relevant,” he added.

When the Bougainville Peace Agreement was being negotiated the National Government’s finances were in a poor state and the National Government argued it could not afford to provide the massive sums needed to fund recurrent costs adequately and to restore infrastructure and service in Bougainville in what is now known as the Restoration and Development Grant.

The National Government team offered the Bougainville parties the rolling five-year average formula based upon the 2001 National Public Investment Program.

Their argument was that as Papua New Guinea’s economy improved Bougainville would benefit in the same proportion as the rest of the country, in other words the proportion of the National Development Budget would remain roughly the same as it was in 2001 and the rationale was primarily based around a concept of fairness.

“The Panguna Mine funded PNG’s development from 1972 to 1989. Now, at the Peace talks, the PNG Government agreed to fund Bougainville’s restoration through a guaranteed share of PNG’s development budget,” President Momis said

Under the RDG;s formulae proposed by the ABG’s share of the domestically financed Public Investment Programme will be around two percent but the formulae proposed by the National Government Bougainville’s share of the Development Budget will reduce dramatically to one third of the share it was in 2001.

Since the creation of Bougainville’s autonomous arrangement the RDG has remain stagnant at K15 m per year.
The President asked that the JSB seek to agree the RDG formulae and that the ABG want the 2015 paid at the correct rate to maintain services in Bougainville.

He also recommended that the respective Chief Secretaries of both governments sit down and agree on the appointment of a suitable mediator and arbitrator

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