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PNG Government committed to improve living standards on Bougainville

The government remains committed to improving living standards and business environment on Bougainville by funding various impact projects.

Prime Minister Peter O' Neil reaffirmed the government's position amidst media speculations that Waigani is withholding or redirecting monies purposely for the Autonomous Region.

Mr. O' Neil says the annual allocation for the recurrent expenditure for Bougainville is among the highest in the country and so they cannot be cash-strapped.

The prime minister in a statement revealed that in 2010 the national government provided 500 million kina for an intervention program for impact project identified by a joint working committee.

100 million was released to the ABG in 2011 for this program but these funds were never acquitted. In 2012, another K15 million was released, but then the rest was held back after it became clear the funds were not going to be spent in the priority areas which were identified.

Mr. O'Neill says balance of K85 million for 2012 is held in trust, together with K100 million for 2013.

Mr O' Neil met with officials from Treasury, Planning and Works Departments, and directed that costing be carried out immediately for the impact projects to get underway.

These projects include the upgrading of Aropa Airport, the upgrading and sealing of Arawa Town roads, the upgrading of the Arawa-Buin Road, the upgrading and sealing of Buka Ring Road, and the upgrading of the Kieta Sea Port.

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