15 Sep 2014

PNG's SDPL says Long Term Fund safe and secure

5:30 pm on 15 September 2014

The chairman of the PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd, Sir Mekere Morauta, says Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, is wrong to claim the company is drawing down on the Long Term Fund.

The SDPL has had a majority share in the Ok Tedi mine and the Long Term Fund holds accumulated profits intended for the people of Western Province where the mine is located.

But, for months, it has been embroiled in a legal struggle with the Papua New Government, which had been the minority shareholder, and is trying to acquire all the shares in the entity.

Sir Mekere says there is more than 1 point 3 billion US dollars in the Long Term Fund, and it is invested around the world in safe and secure, low-risk investments

The former prime minister says it was set up so the people of Western Province would have a source of sustainable development funding for future generations, and that is the way it will stay.

Mr O'Neill last month claimed that the board of SDPL had drawn down money from the Long Term Fund to pay legal bills for the squabble with the Government taking place in a Singapore court.

Sir Mekere says that is not the case.