17 Jun 2003

ADB says no money yet to PNG after spat over Minister's appointment

4:20 pm on 17 June 2003

The Asian Development Bank or ADB has rejected the Papua New Guinea Government's claim that it would hand over 35 million US dollars this week.

And it says distributing the money in future depends on a positive response from the government.

Last week the Treasurer Bart Philomen said the funds would be released this week, but the ADB's representative to PNG, Steven van der Tak says that is not the case.

This comes after the ADB objected to the appointment of Fisheries Minister Andrew Baing as acting managing director for the National Fisheries Authority without the position being advertised.

Mr van der Tak says discussions with the PNG Government are ongoing.

Meantime Mr Philemon has said delays are forcing the government to borrow money at high interest rates.