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Monday, December 16, 2013

OIL PALM BRINGS DEVELOPEMNT AND PROSPERITY TO SIGITU/MUKUS

Palm Oil since its inception in Papua New Guinea 45 years ago since 1967, has played a major role in the development and progress of many individuals, families, rural communities and has contributed significantly to the growth of the national Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and as estimated in the next 5 to 10 years it will also contribute to the K8 Billion palm oil export value as a big player in the Agri-Industry business sector and is the second largest employer to the government of PNG with the potential to alleviate national rural poverty. The Sigitu/Mukus palm oil project development is another of Rimbunan Hijau’s biggest investments in the country. The project currently employs 1000 staff and at the peak of the operation the staff strength will see about 3300 and the company has planned to upgrade the health and education facilities in the region. The palm oil project involves only about 38, 000 hectares and it is a 30 year cycle project with various multi-million processing factories being built. This legitimate commercial activity will contribute significantly to the livelihood of the ordinary Papua New Guineans from the said area that have been neglected for so many years and will sustainably contribute to the national revenue when it is fully operational. The majority of the landowners are in support of the project and few NGO driven groups are engaging in destructive activities in direct contravention of the wishes of the majority of landowners for development. This Sigitu/Mukus Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) palm oil project namely Ralopal concession issue was previously taken up by an NGO Group by way of litigation and the matter was conclusively decided by the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea in favor of the majority of landowners and Gilford Limited Palm Oil Project. As of October 2013 for the Drina and Rano camps in the project area 210km was constructed as the main road of which 70km was graveled, 330km as field roads for access of plantation works. In addition a total of 1,723 log culverts were constructed on the main roads and the plantation field roads and 765 units of log bridges on the main roads and plantation field roads. All the seedlings were ordered from DAMI Research Center, New Britain palm Oil in Kimbe which cost a total of USD 1,0505,500 with the 1st order: USD 0.70 per seed x 1,215,000 seeds = USD 850,500.00 and 2nd order: USD 0.80 per seed x 250,000 seeds = USD 200,000.00 which is equivalent K 2,997,146.93. Total purchased seeds: 1,465,000 seeds, Total seedlings in nursery: 1,068,681 seedlings, Total planted area: 3,800 ha (372,966 oil palm stands).
It is estimated that over the life of the total investment will more that K700 million including 2 oil palm processing facilities with a capacity of 180 tones per hour which will be completed by mid-2016. The project will contribute more than K28 million to the local communities in premiums and royalties and will also inject more than K33 million per year directly into the economy of East New Britain which it currently provides internship for 16 students from the area at its plantation division. The land owners will benefit through land rental of which more that K9 million in the first 15 years and K 13 million in the second 15 years with log royalties and premiums more than K30 million in the first 15 years. In addition to the benefits the Government benefits will be log export duty of more than K30 million in the first 15 years and corporate tax is estimated to be more than K671 million in the first 15 years and more than k1.1 billion the next 15 years. Gilford Limited has joint the PNG malaria Initiative IPIMI) to eradicate malaria in its project area and set up a private public partnership with East New Britain Provincial Government to help eradicate malaria in the province as part of its corporate social responsibility.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Deficit budget

By JEFFREY ELAPA THE Government will hand down a deficit budget for 2014 focused on economic growth and developing infrastructure for the 2015 Pacific Games, official sources say. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the deficit budget would be between 5% and 6% of Gross Domestic Product. It may raise the national debt level to around 35% of GDP. He corrected a television news story that said the country was expected to pass a budget deficit of 35% of GDP. In a text message, O’Neill said: “The TV report is wrong. The total deficit is not going to be around 35% (of GDP). We expect a deficit of around 5-6% of the total GDP (US$17.430 billion)”. Finance Minister James Marape said a minimal deficit to grow the economy was healthy. He said to build infrastructure such as roads, bridges and the 2015 Pacific Games infrastructure growth “is good for the nation”. He said the budget would not pass the 35% debt-to-GDP ratio. He said it would be a manageable deficit budget “that is good to grow the economy”. Treasurer Don Polye, right, who will table the 2014 national budget in parliament on Tuesday week, had confirmed it would be a deficit budget such as the 2013 one “but will be a manageable fiscal deficit”. He said it would grow the economy and continue to be a fiscal budget with a very respectful fiscal limit, with a manageable debt. The PNG economic briefing from the World Bank group in the country reported that the country was expected to reach a budget deficit that would raise debt to around 35% of GDP by 2014. This is compared to the gross public debt near 25% of GDP in 2012 (not including contingent and off -balance sheet liabilities, estimated at a further 15% to 20% of GDP). The 2013 budget deficit of 7.2% was one of the highest since 1990. It was 9.5% deficit in 2009, during the global economic crisis. The good news is that the World Bank report said in 2015, the government expected a 26% increase in nominal GDP (as the PNG LNG production starts) will return the debt-to-GDP ratio to below 30% of GDP. Source: The National, Monday November 11th, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

History of Rabaul Queen

Source: The National, Thursday August 22nd, 2013 THE mv Rabaul Queen ended 30 years of maritime service when it capsized off the Finschhafen coast, Morobe, on Feb 2 last year. The sinking of this Japanese-built vessel saw more than 160 lives lost, making it the worst in sea disaster in PNG history. The following is a brief history of the vessel until its sinking. Dec 1982: Launched as Ieshima at the Kawamoto Higashino-cho shipyard, Japan. Late 1998: Rabaul Shipping Ltd buys the Ieshima. March 5, 1999: Vessel renamed mv Rabaul Queen, issued with a PNG survey certification (and allowed to carry 295 passengers). It begins passenger services, operating initially between Rabaul and Kavieng. Its route is extended to include Kimbe and Lae. May 21, 2008: mv Rabaul Queen issued with a PNG Survey Certificate (valid until March 23, 2012). Jan 30, 2012 (3pm): The mv Rabaul Queen departs Buka wharf, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, for an overnight trip to Rabaul. Jan 31, 2012 6am-7am: The mv Rabaul Queen arrives in Rabaul. All passengers disembark and new tickets are bought for the Kimbe-Lae leg, including continuing passengers. The ship takes on fuel and water. 6.15pm: Passengers boarded and mv Rabaul Queen leaves Rabaul for overnight trip to Kimbe. Feb 1, 2012 9.15am: The mv Rabaul Queen arrived in Kimbe. 11am: Passengers board mv Rabaul Queen for its overnight trip to Lae. Reports indicate 360 passengers board. Also on board were 13 crew members, two canteen boys and the master of Solomon Queen. 12.47pm: mv Rabaul Queen departed Kimbe wharf, allegedly “packed and overloaded”. 4pm: Reaching Cape Campbell (Eastern end of Willaumez Peninsula), mv Rabaul Queen meets prevailing strong north-westerly winds and rough seas. Rounding Cape Hollmann and heading towards Cape Gloucester, rough conditions increase as rain fall. Passengers on the starboard side of the upper and open promenade decks hit by the spray from the sea and many move to the port side and inside accommodation (resulting in more overcrowding and the vessel lean to one side at no more than 5 degrees). Rough seas and strong winds continue. Feb 2, 2012 2.20am: Reaching Cape Gloucester, mv Rabaul Queen alters course for Nessup Channel (southern end of Dampier Strait). 3.30am: Chief mate calls master to navigate the boat through Siassi Islands and into Vitiaz Strait. After leaving Umboi Island, increase prevailing north-westerly wind (20-30 knots) and rough seas (to 30m). Master disengages auto-pilot and takes over the steering control. Prevailing near gale force continued to hit mv Rabaul Queen’s starboard quarters, rolling the ship and taking in water in the upper deck. List to port (leaning) continues. 5.30am: Chief mate leaves the bridge to go below to check on passengers, who are shouting “one more, one more” as the ship rides the waves. Attempts to balance the ship fails and mv Rabaul Queen continued to lean to one side. 5.45am: Morobe coastline becomes visible. 6.15am: Large wave hits the vessel on its starboard quarter. Stern pushes to port and the vessel heels over heavily to port. Master loses steering control and the ship’s heads back to port. Second wave hits starboard side, and the port side become submerged. Water starts flooding the accommodation area. Third waves hits the exposed hull and the ship capsizes. No mayday signal broadcast. Most survivors escaped 10 minutes before mv Rabaul Queen sinks. Fuel and bilge oil begin floating. Ship’s first 25-man life rafts, a few life jackets and buoyant floating devices surface. Some survivors swim and board life rafts, others are helped on board or cling to floating life jackets and floating devices. 9.40am: First ship, MOL Summer, arrive at the scene and rescued 116 survivors. Coordinate and call in other ships to the search and rescue operation. Total of 246 survivors are plucked from the sea by five ships (13 aircraft and 15 ships were involved in search and rescue). The Cap Scott rescued nine people, MSC Carole 53, Violet 39 and Zhong He 29. Feb 3, 2012 Passengers transfer from all rescuing ships to Lae harbour tugboat Victory and transported ashore.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kapris killed

PAPUA New Guinea’s most wanted man, William Kapris, has been killed by police. The convicted bank robber, who had been on the run for the last 10 weeks, was shot dead near Doa in Central, about 45km northwest of Port Moresby. Kapris’ accomplice Raphael Walimini, a convicted murderer, was also killed in the shootout, which ended a massive manhunt by police who had offered a reward of K100,000 each for the pair. Five other people, including two women and a Defence Force soldier, who were travelling with Kapris and Walimini, have been arrested and locked up at the Boroko police cells. Assistant Police Commander Jim Andrews told reporters on Monday night that police had gone to Doa to apprehend the escapees after a tip off. “After three months of operations ... today we caught up with him following a tip-off from the public. As we were moving in to apprehend them, there was an exchange of fire,” Andrews told reporters on Monday night. He added that no police officers were injured in the shootout. The Port Moresby General Hospital premises was a scene of screaming red and blue lights and loud horns as a police convoy, numbering more than 20 vehicles escorted the corpses to the morgue at around 10.10pm. As word of the capture and shooting dead of the country’s notorious criminal spread throughout the city, the populace outside the hospital premises grew in numbers. Security was stepped up and only a few people were allowed in. The bodies of Kapris and Walimini were laid out inside the morgue area where police forensics officers quickly moved in and took over. They were soon joined by flashes from reporters’ cameras. Bullet wounds were visible in most parts of their bodies, particularly below their knees. For about an hour, uniformed and media personnel continued in and out of the morgue area, observing and taking photographs of the corpses. When all the excitement finally subsided and the hospital gates opened, members of the public who had gathered outside moved in. However, control was again reinforced when police told people that the hospital grounds belonged to the sick. Kapris and Walimini were inside the morgue and there was nothing more to see that Monday night. According to police, more than 30 Royal PNG Constabulary personnel were used in the operation to recapture Kapris, who was known in PNG for a series of robberies at Bank South Pacific branches. Kapris and Walimini escaped Port Moresby’s Bomana prison on May 14 after walking out the front gate. In 2010, the country’s most wanted serial bank robber escaped from custody in a Toyota truck after taking a warder hostage. He was aided that time by a woman who, posing as a lawyer, pulled a gun on guards. He was rearrested a short time later, along with several jail staff who allegedly assisted his escape. It was not the first time Kapris had escaped PNG’s justice system. Before being captured in 2008, he had been on the run for eight years after escaping police detention while convalescing at Port Moresby General Hospital. Source: The National, Wednesday July 24th, 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013

MEDIA WORK SHOP ON CLIMATE CHANGE

These are some of the shots taken at the Office of the Climate Change during the two days Media Workshop on Climate Change.
Post Courier Editor Alexander Rheeney and Hon. Patrick Pruaicht Minister for Forestry and Climate Change.
My Group during the plenary discussion.
Got home tired after the first day of the work shop.
Your truly with Joy Kiseelpar of PNGFM.
Steamship presenting K15,000 to the Office of Climate Change and Developemnt (OCCD) for its open day on the 16th of August 2013.
My Group for the plenary session
Some of the participants of the Media Work Shop.
The food was awesome.
The Group of Media Personal and others who attended the Workshop.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DEMOCRACY IS WONDERFUL

By: Sig Nordal Very interesting posts have been made in this discussion group called the Sharp Talk. We are happy to read these discussions as it shows that the people of Papua New Guinea are conscious about what is going on in their society and also, discussion groups like these help to ensure that companies and governments are aware that they are being monitored. It is definitely needed to have more discussion groups like these in PNG and in all of our efforts in working in PNG have been to stress the importance of that point. All of of the 400 PNG members in our LinkedIn Group will know that this project that we are doing is absolutely not new. In fact, we constructed our first house in PNG in 2009, and we still have numerous houses at the harbor which are for the benefit of the government of PNG. Shortly after we did the housing contract with the government of PNG and imported houses to the country we did so in good faith. Nevertheless, the houses remain unpaid. This project that we are doing now was first started as a conventional housing project where people were to finance their own houses. It soon became clear that the high rental rates in PNG had "eaten away" people's savings and they were unable to come up with a down payment therefore, we designed a transaction whereby people can buy houses utilizing traditional mortgages and this allows the people to have no down payment. It is interesting to note that despite the fact that Amazon Realty Ltd. is a duly registered PNG company, with all records filed, and a company that possesses over 1500 subdivided lots should be attacked in this way. However, there is always another side to the coin and perhaps that is what this group wants us to do; we can bring all of our houses to PNG and sell them in the open market to the highest bidder but then way we would not be helping the working people, would we? There is one thing that we should all remember and that is that democracy allows us to voice our opinions about various matters but with democracy comes great responsibility. People must do their homework before they start accusing people and as all records and information about Amazon Realty are readily available perhaps the initiator of this discussion should have exercised the responsibility in checking if the statements made are actually true. To verify is necessary before statements are made. When a reference is made to articles in Post Courier one should read our comments about the horrific consequences of scams and how we have systematically tried to help Papua New Guineans avoid precisely that. The scams in PNG are far reaching, and we have pointed that out also, and those include misuse of natural resources, misuse of logging rights, housing scams, and most recently rental scams. Do you think it makes any sense that an apartment in PNG costs more to rent than an apartment in London or even Los Angeles? There are people that have opposed our program for obvious reasons as they benefit from the high rental situation. Again, I want to thank everyone in this group for their comments and I welcome them to contact us if they need any further clarification and we encourage you to continue to stay on guard towards the various misuse of PNG's resources, bribery, and other such issues all of which destroy the democracy. We look forward to hearing from you and please do not hesitate to contact us at mypnghouse@gmail.com.(We use gmail because it is an excellent platform to communicate with people as we work in a very open way as all of our clients know).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NORDAL ATTACKS HOUSING SHORTAGE

I feel like I've never had a home. You know? I feel related to the country, to this country, and yet I don't know exactly where I fit in. And the same thing applies to the theater. I don't know exactly how well I fit into the scheme of things. Maybe that's good, you know, that I'm not in a niche. But there's always this kind of nostalgia for a place, a place where you can reckon with yourself. Now I've found that what's most valuable about that place is not the place itself but the other people; that through other people you can find a recognition of each other. I think that's where the real home is. SAM SHEPARD, Don Shewey's Sam Shepard EMAIL: surumba@gmail.com for more information.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New options to make house ownership easier

We have analyzed and looked at hundreds of applications for houses from people that desperately need to have a house. There is one thing in common with the applications and that is people have been paying very high rent and many have had to use their savings to survive. The result is that people are struggling even if they have good salary. We have developed a plan to help solve this problem and our plan is based on a new thinking and backing from us and a creation of a close relationship – partnership with our house buyers. All applications will now be approved if the individual works and has the ability to have payments made via payroll deduction through his or her employer. There will be no down payment on our houses. This will be a zero down program and it is designed so that everyone can own a home. We do not want people to overstretch themselves; therefore the payments for the house should not exceed 40% of the house buyers income. We do not want the house to become a burden; the house should be a place for the family to interact, children to learn, and for the house buyer to have the ability to keep his hard-earned savings intact. This is what this program is about offering houses to people in such a way that it doesn't break the bank, nor that it causes tension or pressures in one's life as that affects the family which is the foundation of society. To own a house in this program is very simple and the following is what needs to happen: You write is an email to surumba@gmail.com and you write in the subject line "zero down house basis" You must state in the email what your salary is and the name of your employer and confirm that the employer can do a "payroll deduction" for you. Once we have this information, we will be able to calculate what house you qualify for, and once we have calculated what house you qualify for, we will write back to you with confirmation. We will also include in our response an estimated time of delivery of the house. We have set this up in such a way that the buying process is very simple and straightforward. We are taking a huge commercial risk in doing this, but we believe that this is only way to help people of Papua New Guinea own a house without basically being in a financial jail for the rest of their lives. The banks are demanding 30% plus down payment, and many people do not have that down payment. In many cases this is because people have had to use their savings to pay extremely high rent, and I assure you that the house payments made to us will be much less than any rent payment in Papua New Guinea. Due to the complexities of this transaction we can only offer this financing for a short period of time. Please note that this program is based on "first come, first served" Everyone that has received an offer from us, may ask to be enrolled into this program. This program is based on mutual respect and trust. You must understand that we are taking risks but that is acceptable as long as we know that people entering into a contract with us with full integrity and commitment. Please note that our financing facilities are time sensitive therefore it is very important that we hear from those of you that want to use this method of financing as soon as possible. We look forward to your email as possible so you don’t miss out. Remember, there's nothing wrong with being low in cash in this outrageous rental market, therefore keep your heads high, be proud, and work with us as we are with you. If you have any questions please write to us at surumba@gmail.com. NOTE: All funds are handled by our Certified Accountants.

CHANGING LIVES ONE HOUSE AT A TIME

International Housing Concepts is introducing these houses soon to Papua New Guinea. Find below are the designs of the first houses to be on the market soon, cost includes shipping to Port Moresby only but for other provinces IHC will have to confirm extra for shipping, also electricity fittings and plumbing included with furniture etc. It will take one month for design, two months for shipping and a month for process through customs and building. The concept is design to assist first time home owners and also it will be arranged through pay roll deductions. Do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions regarding this. Email: surumba@gmail.com in order for me to send you the costing/deduction schedule, frequently asked questions and the application form. Mathew R Werigi Customer Relations Coordinator CHANGING LIVES ONE HOUSE AT A TIME

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rimbunan Hijau’s Financial & Economic Contribution to PNG

Presentation of Hospital cupboard to the Port Moresby General Hospital Children's Ward. Since the company’s entry into Papua New Guinea in 1989, it has significantly participated and contributed to the economic and social development of the nation. As a market leader in the forest industry it has diversified into media, travel, IT property development, retail and other business interests. Since then and from 1993 up to 2006 it is one of the major contributors to the financial and economic well being of Papua New Guinea. The landowners, the government and most importantly employees were the major beneficiaries of Rimbunan Hijau presence in the nation since then. The above benefited from royalties, premiums, levies, export duties, corporate tax, salary, wages, infrastructure contributions and National Superannua tion Fund (Nasfund) payments totaling K1.19 billion. Since its establishment, the total capital expenditures for forestry are K 300 million, K120 million for wood processing, K35 million for transport, K30 million for property development and K15 million for other services and in all a total capital investments in the country from 1993 up to 2006 was K 500 million. Rimbunan Hijau has been a significant contributor to wages to the economy and it has contributed more than K160 million. In 2006 alone a total of 22.5 million was paid. Since 1991, there has been a steady increase in line with increased capital investment. Through premiums, levies, export duties on logs RH makes direct tax contributions to the economy of the country. Since 1993, the companies premiums and levies contribution was K 157.3 million and its total export duty was K 624 million and the total corporate tax amounted to K 31.3 million. In 2006 the Group’s tax contribution was more than K 85 million with K 56 million in export duty, K 21.5 million in contributions and levies and K 7.5 million in group taxes. Royalty payment by Rimbunan Hijau to landowners since 1993 calculated at K 10 per cubic metres is K 122.7 million. The company has spent more than K 27 million on infrastructure which includes schools, health centres, churches and other social infrastructure excluding roads in its area of operations. It constructed more than 130 health centres, aid posts, schools and churches The absence of government social services and basic infrastructure in rural and remote areas increases the importance of the services and infrastructure the company provides. It has constructed roads, and built culverts, airstrips, bridges, jetties and even provided water tanks, school building and supplies and others like markets, grand stands, churches and sporting facilities. The Group employs 5, 300 people through out its various businesses mostly in the forest sector and downstream processing. In 2006 total wages paid was more than K22.5 million, an average of K4245 per annum. The company also implement training programs to its staff like “on the job” approach. In addition to its contributions to the economic well being of Papua New Guinea, it also donates to charity groups, schools, community and landowner groups, hospitals and others. It has supported the Operation Open Heart over the years and now a platinum sponsor of BAHA (Business Coalition against HIV/AIDS). In has contributed more than K 600,000 while other times like machinery, livestock and equipments were also donated by the company. All in all, Rimbunan Hijau has a long term business commitment and plan that go beyond forestry.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

AROUND PAPUA NEW GUINEA: INSIDE MALAYSIA’S SHADOW STATE

http://www.globalwitness.org/insideshadowstate/index.html

INSIDE MALAYSIA’S SHADOW STATE

WHAT IS THIS FILM ABOUT? This investigation provides undercover footage of the corruption and illegality at the heart of governance in Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state, on the island of Borneo. For over thirty years, Sarawak has been governed by Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who controls all land classification, forestry and plantation licenses in the state. Under his tenure, Sarawak has experienced some of the most intense rates of logging seen anywhere in the world. The state now has less than five per cent of its forests left in a pristine condition, unaffected by logging or plantations and continues to export more tropical logs than South America and Africa combined. The film reveals for the first time the instruments used by the ruling Taib family and its lawyers to skirt Malaysia’s laws and taxes. It shows how they cream off huge profits at the expense of indigenous people, and hide their dirty money in Singapore. Taib and the local lawyers we approached denied Global Witness’s allegations of corruption. A summary of their responses is included at the end of the film. HOW DOES CORRUPTION AFFECT SARAWAK’S PEOPLE? Corruption is destroying the fabric of Sarawak’s society and squandering the state’s natural resources. The region’s indigenous people have borne the brunt of this. Ancestral land to which they have claims has been routinely licensed for logging and plantations, badly damaging their livelihoods and violating their rights under Sarawak and Malaysian law. This has trapped many communities in a cycle of poverty and dependency. Moreover, corruption affects the future well-being of all Malaysian citizens. This investigation demonstrates how money that should be driving development is being lost to corruption and hidden in secrecy jurisdictions overseas. Malaysia is thought to be the world’s third largest source of such illicit financial flows, which lost the country an estimated US$285 billion (RM863 billion), or over US$43,000 (RM130,000) perhousehold between 2001 and 2010. This is money that could have been spent on improving key services and quality of life for ordinary Malaysians. IS THIS A WIDER PROBLEM THAN SARAWAK? The timber rush which occurred during Taib’s three decades in office has spawned some of the world’s largest logging companies. These companies have had a catastrophic effect on forests and indigenous communities in almost every major tropical forested region in the world, and are regularly implicated in major illegal logging scandals. Global Witness’ analysis shows that Sarawak’s logging companies are currently logging or converting forests to plantations in at least 12 countries. Their operations cover an area of 18 million hectares worldwide, an area roughly three times the landmass of Norway. http://www.globalwitness.org/insideshadowstate/index.html

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

AROUND PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Fees ‘claim’ life

AROUND PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Fees ‘claim’ lifeFees Claim Life

Fees ‘claim’ life

A HIGH school girl committed suicide after her school allegedly refused to accept a part payment of her project fees. The student identified as 18-year-old Tan Mukap died at the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital in Jiwaka Province last Saturday allegedly from the consumption of gramoxone, which is an herbicide that can be fatal if swallowed. A relative of the deceased and South Wahgi LLG council manager, Johnny Maia, said the girl fronted up at the Milep Lutheran High School with K170 but was refused enrolment and was asked to pay K200 in full as project fees. He said she had no other choice to further her education after her rejection and consequently took her own life. Tragically, the girl lost both of her biological parents when she was a toddler and was raised by an uncle from Kopung village outside Minj. According to Mr Maia the deceased stayed home and returned to school after three-days, hoping the school officials would have a change of heart, only to be turned away yet again. On her return to Minj she purchased the deadly substance and consumed it, leading to her hospitalisation and eventual death. “She came back to Minj and used this money to buy gramoxone and went home and on Thursday morning (last week) she consumed it and I rushed her to nearby Kudjip Nazarene Hospital. The Government policy is clear that all schools across the country must not send the students away, if they do not have the project fee (wait) until parents will pay slowly and complete it before the end of the academic year,” Mr Maia said. The relatives of the deceased are now seeking legal advice and are planning to sue the school. The suicide is the first such case in the new province according to the Anglimp South Wahgi district education advisor, Erwin Us. Conveying his sympathy to the relatives of the deceased, the education advisor said the student was committed to her education. Mr Us said it is likely many students face similar problems but keep silent, though committing suicide was not a solution to school fee problems. Milep High School headmaster Gabriel Murang defended his school, saying they were not responsible for the student’s death and all schools nationwide were collecting K200. Despite the headmaster’s refusal to accept responsibility, the school later contributed K1000 towards their late student’s funeral expenses. By Mal Taime

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Airline slashes student fares

LOCAL airline Travel Air yesterday introduced big fare discounts for students. The management said the “student fare” package offered 25% discounts. A spokesperson from Travel Air told The National the student fare would be available year-round and the passengers must show proof that they were bona fide students. “Students using Travel Air will now pay less,” management said in a statement. Travel Air said it was prompted to offer big discounts after parents and students encouraged the airline on special fares. “The discount reduces the base fare by 25% and applies only to economy fares,” the airline said. “Students will be required to show proper identification when buying tickets and boarding the aircraft.” Travel Air, Papua New Guinea’s newest airline, was started to take advantage of a specific gap that existed in the PNG air transport industry for a local airline that offered low-cost service. The airline says it prides itself on air travel that is “safe, convenient, on-time and affordable”. With its head office located in Madang, Travel Airs connects Port Moresby, Madang, Lae, Mount Hagen, Hoskins, Rabaul and Wewak via a fleet of four F50 Fokker aircraft, with both direct and connecting service year-round. It also offers charter and cargo services. Source: The National, Tuesday 19th February, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

New law to restrict firms

FOREIGNERS operating small to medium businesses will get a year’s notice to leave the country or make investment in larger businesses under a proposed new legislation. Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru said this when replying to a question in parliament on Tuesday from Northern Governor Gary Juffa who raised concern about foreigners owning “most restricted businesses” meant for locals. “The law will be ready before the end of this year,” Maru said. “We will empower our people to reclaim ownership of businesses such as “tucker-shops, trade stores and restaurants” and take control of our economy. About 90% of the businesses in the formal sector are now at the hands of foreigners while our fellow citizens own only 10%. We have lost our birth right.” Maru, who is the former managing director of the National Development Bank, said the government had allocated K130 million to reintroduce the bank’s Stret Pasin Stoa scheme. He said that the country did not have reserve business regulations. But under the national goals and directive principles such businesses were supposed to be owned by the indigenous people. The minister said a parliamentary bi-partisan committee and an indigenous business council would be established to conduct a comprehensive review all the businesses in the country. “If we don’t review it, we will be marginalised citizens and we won’t recover our birth right. “We must consider joint-venture arrangements with foreign investors. “If they don’t like this arrangement, they won’t be allowed to invest in the country. Economic giants like China have such arrangements,” Maru said. Source: The National, Thursday 14th February, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

AROUND PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Chocolate factory planned for Wewak cocoa producers

AROUND PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Chocolate factory planned for Wewak cocoa producers

Chocolate factory planned for Wewak cocoa producers

A CHOCOLATE factory will be set up in Wewak, East Sepik, pending the outcome of a feasibility study to be carried out by the Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry. Leading Papua New Guinea downstream food processing entrepreneur Micky Puritau, founder of Paradise Spices, has been engaged by the department to lead the team carrying out the study. The company, no newcomer to PNG cocoa and chocolate production, already exports PNG vanilla, chilli, pepper, galip nut, cardamon, tumeric, nutmeg, cocoa nibs, ginger, cinnamon, virgin coconut oil and pure vanilla extract to many countries around the world. Puritau says there is no reason why a chocolate factory shouldn’t be a goer in the country. “Many overseas companies have told us that chocolate is not viable in this country,” he said. “I’m totally against this. “We’ve proved it in the vanilla industry. “With exports of vanilla, we were getting margins of 40%, but when we produced finished products, we were actually getting 200-500% margins. “I don’t see any reason why chocolate can’t also reach these margins. “We have the production on the ground, the issue is when can we do it (produce chocolate).” Puritau says PNG’s cocoa industry will be on to a winner with the establishment of a chocolate factory. “Let me say that it’s going to be a successful chocolate company. “You don’t have to look for markets as there are markets already available. “People who say that there are no markets are actually telling you lies. “We believe that downstream processing is the way to go for this country.” Puritau said Paradise Spices had already proved that chocolate could be produced in the country. “We did some small-scale chocolate production and I can tell you this: the quality of the chocolate we produced was of high, premium value,” he said. “Good taste. Maru said Wewak was chosen because cocoa production in East New Britain, formerly the largest producer in the country, had been decimated by the dreaded cocoa pod borer (CPB). “Wewak, not because I come from there, but because East Sepik is now the leading cocoa producer in Papua New Guinea,” he said. “East Sepik is also close to the mass market of Indonesia. “I will start work with my team on the feasibility study into a new chocolate factory in Wewak.” Source: The National, Tuesday 12th February, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

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