1 Oct 2002

World Bank denies interfering in PNG affairs

2:32 pm on 1 October 2002

The World Bank has rejected claims by Papua New Guinea's Forests Minister that it is interfering in the country's domestic affairs.

World Bank officials in PNG say that it does not interfere in any country's politics nor does it seek to influence any government.

The official response came after PNG's Forests Minister, Patrick Pruaitch claimed the Bank was trying to oust him from government because of his stand against its Forestry Conservation Project.

Last week, the planned launch of the Bank's 39 million US dollar project was put off, after the National Forest Service refused to take part.

The Government's wish to re-negotiate aspects of the project was the reason given for the Forest Service's refusal to take part.

Meanwhile, PNG's Treasurer, Bart Philemon, is in Washington attending the World Bank's annual general meeting, and intends asking it for additional financial support.