23 Dec 2004

PNG defence force protests against pay backlog

3:34 pm on 23 December 2004

Papua New Guinea soldiers are urging the finance minister to settle leave entitlements which have been outstanding for six years.

The National newspaper reports that troops held a protest at Murray Barracks in Port Moresby yesterday, asking for leave entitlements amounting to more than 2.4 million US dollars.

The soldiers complained after the finance ministry said it would only pay just under a million US dollars because of budget cuts.

The Defence Minister, Mathew Gubag, met the troops at army headquarters and he would take the matter up with the Finance Department.

The Minister immediately wrote a letter to Finance and Treasury Minister, Bart Philemon, urging him to settle the outstanding entitlements in full.

The newspaper quotes Mr Gubag saying he has assured the troops that he will pursue the outstanding 1. 4 million US dollars through the finance department.