By: PNG Business News May 20, 2024

PNG CORE President, Anthony Smaré. Picture Credit: Post Courier.

PNG Chamber of Resources and Energy (PNG CORE) President Anthony Smaré has called for theState to conduct a 6-month extensive consultation nationally with all impacted stakeholders on the NGC Bill given its extremely negative consequences, in a letter delivered to the Minister of Mining and copied to Prime Minister Hon. James Marape and Deputy Prime Minister Hon. John Rosso.

“The NGC Bill is extremely complex with 966 clauses and is the longest legislation that the PNG Parliament has ever attempted to pass. It impacts over 26 important existing laws as it vests control of PNG’s monetary policy, gold industry and banking industry in the hands of a foreign controlled entity with limited capacity, capability, or resourcing in any of the sectors it impacts.

“To date, there has been a lack of detailed public statements explaining the benefits of each clause of the NGC Bill to Papua New Guineans. This has made it extremely challenging for stakeholders to provide informed feedback. Even the Department of Mineral Policy does not intend in its proposed consultation on 15 May 2024 to provide any significant presentation on the NGC Bill and their proposed four-hour consultation is woefully inadequate.

“We thus question the intent and sincerity of the consultation being held by the Department in holding this meeting. We believe that a more extensive and comprehensive awareness campaign is necessary before soliciting feedback. Such a campaign must include a detailed explanation of the utility and purpose of each of the 966 clauses in the Bill,” Smaré said.

“This would ensure that all stakeholders, including impacted provincial governments, business peak bodies, banks, SMEs, international donors, the Autonomous Bougainville Government, and all other parties with an interest in maintaining a stable PNG economy, are fully informed and able to contribute effectively to the consultation process. We also believe it is critical that all the Government departments and agencies responsible for the 26 Acts that are being over-ridden by the proposed NGB bill are also provided an opportunity to be heard.

Therefore, we request that the Government conduct a six-month national awareness and consultation program. This would allow ample time for the legislation to be explained in full, and for everyone around the country to present their views. We believe this approach would lead to more informed and constructive feedback, ultimately resulting in an outcome that best serves the interests of Papua New Guineans,” he added.

“Banks, business peak bodies, SMEs, international donors, and all other parties that have an interest in maintaining a stable PNG economy should be given the right to present their views. All of us that have an investment in our economy should be given an opportunity to provide feedback.”

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