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PNG Finance Minister denies claims

FINANCE Minister James Marape has denied allegations that the Finance Department made an illegal payment of K2 million to a Lae-based company from the District Services Improvement Programme (DSIP) funds for Bulolo, Morobe.
Marape said he had no relations or any dealings with the owner of Power Boss Ltd, which supplies energy to business houses and project sites. 
The allegations were made recently by Bulolo MP Sam Basil, which led to the harassment of Lae-based reporters who tried to get a response from the businessman.
Marape explained that the K2 million came from the Business Development Grant following a submission to the finance and planning departments, which was approved for a landowner group from the Hides PDL1 area in Hela.
“My record shows me the K2 million cheque was paid for a landowner project so Sam Basil can be rest assured that it wasn’t money meant for Bulolo diverted,” he said.
Power Boss said last week the payment was part of a K31 million project approved by the Government to undertake energy projects throughout the country.
However, Marape said he was not aware of the K31 million project and would check with his department. 
“A series of exchange of correspondence took place prior to payment being released so I got no issue with this one,” Marape said.
“As long as money is being budgeted for and submissions virtued by the department, then a series of exchange take place. They don’t just come overnight and I decide which one they pay,” Marape said.
He added that Basil should report the matter to relevant bodies such as the Fraud squad and Taskforce Sweep to investigate if he had an issue with the payment.
Marape urged Basil to discuss the matter with him at his office in Vulupindi Haus. 

The National

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