By MALUM NALU
Over K256 million worth of projects have been implemented as of Dec 31, 2011, in Western province by Ok Tedi Mining Ltd’s tax credit scheme (TCS), according to OTML general manager – government and external relations Musje Werror, The National reports.
Since its inception in 1997, this money has been spent on key infrastructure projects in health, education, government housing, government offices, water, airstrips, wharves, jetties and roads.
Werror said current value of approved projects from 2012 to 2013 was approximately K140 million while forecast credits to 2014 was K200 million.
|North Fly office complex in Kiunga, Western province, which was funded by OTML’s tax credit scheme|
Main focus is on health and education institutions, with insufficient funds to implement other major projects such as new roads and support for government growth centres.
Werror told a mining and petroleum workshop for PMG media last Friday that this was an example of a successful public private partnership initiative that was bringing much-needed infrastructure development to the Western province.
“The TCS allows the State to use resource companies to build infrastructure without the need for an appropriation from Treasury,” he said.
“The scheme was introduced in 1992 and set at 0.75% of assessable income.
“This was increased to 2% in 1997 and reduced back to 0.75% in 2001.”
Werror said since 1997, the TCS had been funding infrastructure projects within the Western province, Telefomin district of West Sepik and a section of the Highlands Highway.
He said 50% of TCS funds – amounting to some K40 million – was allocated to the community mine continuation agreement (CMCA) region of Western province
“TCS continuation for MLE (mine life extension) is being planned in detail, however, forecast TCS credits anticipated will be much less than current figures,” Werror said.
“Three submissions have been made to the Department of Treasury to raise the current ceiling from 0.75% to 2%.
“The opportunity is there for OTML to make a bigger impact in the province and to contribute to the Western Province 2015 and the Government’s Vision 2050.
“The TCS also extends to the Telefomin and Oksapmin district in the Sandaun province.”
Werror said management of TCS was transferred to Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF) at the beginning of this year.
OTDF’s responsibilities include:
- · Assisting with the project appraisal;
- · Investigating, designing and preparing detailed documentation;
- · Seeking approval from the Fly River provincial government (FRPG), OTML management, OTML board and the Department of National Planning and Monitoring;
- · Tendering and awarding using the OTML contract system;
- · Coordinating and managing project implementation;
- · Organising meetings with the stakeholders to update progress and arrange project site visits; and
· Managing the tax credits.