PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Oct. 1) – The Papua New Guinea government has improved the management of state-owned enterprises by setting a maximum salary of K350,000 for management, Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare said in Parliament yesterday.

Sir Michael said the government has improved the management of the enterprises without hiring any foreign consultants.

He said they have not taken in any special consultants compared to the previous government, which paid K87 million to consultants.

He said they have re-organized the privatization from full sale of assets to the partial sale of the non-core assets that are on the market. 

He said he was confident they would meet shortfalls in revenue for the budget by the end of the year.

He said the government collected K60 million in dividends in the past two weeks from the sale of non-core assets after the improvements to the once non-profitable State corporations.

Sir Michael said the money was from the sale of Pacific Place and dividend payments from Fisheries and Telikom.

Sir Michael said they have put in Papua New Guinean consultants to ensure they give good advice to the government.

He said they would continue to improve them and there were Papua New Guineans capable of running the State owned entities.

He also said they have standardized the sitting allowances of board members so they do not receive exorbitant payments.

Sir Michael said they have abolished the idea of a super board by making the Minister responsible with a smaller board.

He was responding to questions raised by Opposition Leader Sir Mekere Morauta who asked whether the government has plans to establish a super board to oversee the running of State entities.

October 1, 2003

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