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Central Bank ‘not authorized’ to release funds

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 20, 2012) – Members of Parliament, their support staff and all workers at the Parliament did not receive their wages last fortnight.

Their payday was on Friday last week but they were not paid because the Treasury Department did not issue the authority for the Central Bank to release the funds.

"The Government accounts are closed and due to the political situation in recent months, the process slowed down," Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said last night, when confirming that situation with the salaries.

Mr O’Neill said the Treasury Secretary Mr Simon Tosali has been instructed to fix the problem and the Treasury Department was getting onto the problem, which should be rectified today or tomorrow.

The situation came to light yesterday when members emolument office confirmed there was no money to pay the MPs and their parliamentary staff.

"We are not being paid our salaries…we are not in the mood to talk about this - the National Parliament is bankrupt; it can not pay salaries for the MPs, support staff and all other employees in the National Parliament," one officer said.

Member for Markham Open Tony Iguan confirmed that MPs were advised to check their bank accounts but until yesterday afternoon, their salaries had not done into the banks.

Gazelle Open MP Malakai Tabar also confirmed the situation facing Parliament.

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