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Government will start the Kumul Satellite-One Project

Finance and National Planning Minister Rainbo Paita says the Government will start the Kumul Satellite-One Project (KSOP) next year to enable the country to own a satellite.

Paita described KSOP as “transformative”, stating that it would contribute towards addressing some of Papua New Guinea’s development challenges, including improving education, health and communication services.

He said clearance for KSOP to come online was given by the State solicitor and the information communications technology committee that was established under the digital transformation bill.

“KSOP is a project that’s been on the table for quite some time,” Paita said.
“When I was the (Information) Communications (Technology) minister, I initiated discussions on the country venturing into owning its own satellite.

“The Cabinet approved for us to acquire the satellite and I was able to travel to Germany at the time and a vendor (OHB) came forward with technical capacity and could provide the satellite for us.

“This year, I’ve put a lot of emphasis onto it and we picked it up now.”
He said in 2019, the cost of the project was around K1.4 billion where a financing company from Germany, KfW, stepped forward to help PNG in terms of procuring and financing the project. Paita said at the time of negotiations that the plan was to build a customised satellite in Germany and would be launched by Space-X.
He said once the country had a satellite of its own:

  • THE cost of communication would be greatly reduced;
  • ELECTRONIC education and health initiatives could be achieved anywhere;
  • PNG waters could be monitored for illegal fishing;
  • THE army and police could address law and order issues;
  • ILLEGAL forestry and land use could be monitored; and,
  • ELECTRONIC voting would be enabled.

Budget not for all, says O’Neill

December 5, 2022The NationalMain Stories
FORMER prime minister Peter O’Neill says budget support in lowering income tax is welcome, but it will only benefit those working.

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey recently announced that all employees earning more than K20,000 per year would save K63 on their taxes every fortnight from next month.
This was part of the Government’s K590 million relief package highlighted in Budget 2023.

O’Neill said the majority of Papua New Guineans were unemployed and relied on subsistence farming with a large number of those in urban areas also in the informal sector.

During budget debate in Parliament on Friday, O’Neill said: “As the cost of living continues to increase, families are suffering. They cannot put food on the table.

“Government has created four new ministries in Agriculture (Livestock, Coffee and Oil Palm), and Government has announced that we will be the food bowl of the world.
“The Budget does not support that statement.
“And we are unable to feed ourselves as we become more import dependent.
“Funds should be made available to support subsistence agriculture and commodity price stabilisation. Fund the price controller’s office properly.”

Ialibu-Pangia MP O’Neill said instead of a spending big and borrowing even bigger for the budget, “we should create the future we all deserve with conservative recurrent spending, reducing debt levels and invest in jobs, health, education, and infrastructure”.
“Instead of constant blackouts and no access to power, let’s invest in clean energy to connect 70 per cent of our people to electricity.

“We need a Budget that invests more in basic healthcare and stops the shortage of medicines, equipment and health professionals in rural and urban aid posts, healthcare centres and hospitals,” he said.
“We need a budget that returns to free education for all our children and a budget that skills and develops our school leavers.

“We need to get to work building our economy so that it works for all our people, not the other way around.”
O’Neill said the Opposition was disappointed in Budget 2023 and in the now five consecutive big spending, big debt and deficit budgets. He said the Budget had no hope for businesses, families and young people.

“My team (Opposition side) and I are frustrated at the lack of local know-how and intelligence in these Budgets and we only hope the Government returns to the basics and delivers to the people the future we all deserve.”

Paita: PNG to have own satellite

UPNG Journalism Student

MINISTER for Finance and National Planning, Rainbo Paita has announced that the government is looking at setting up its own satellite in the future.

Minister Paita said this will see PNG for the first time have its own satellite under the Kumul Satellite One program. 

Paita said he initiated this project when he was a communication minister and so far, the progress looks promising with the help of the current Communication Minister, Timothy Masiu.

“The satellite will be built in Germany and launched by a German company,” Minister Paita said.     

He said the Satellite will help the military, police, customs to deal with the issues like border security, illegal fishing and logging, cyber security and will also help in providing avenue for electronic health and voting.

Minister Paita said that the German company is being made aware of the project and studies has been going on by specific specialized professionals for the project to start. 

He said the project is expected to be rolled out at a cost of about K1.4 billion budget.

Paita announced this last Friday in a press conference.

Association supports governor’s commitment to develop coffee sector

EASTERN Highlands Governor Simon Sia’s commitment to develop the coffee industry is a step in the right direction, according to the Farmers and Settlers Association.

Association president Wilson Thompson said now was the time to see results in the industry. “The K10 million for the coffee industry and one million seedlings starting next year is good,” Thompson said.

“The governor would need a small committee comprising the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Coffee Industry Corporation, division of primary industries, Office of the (Eastern Highlands) Governor and two independent representatives to manage the programme.”
He said the coffee ministry should clarify:

  • STRATEGIES and action plan to increase production and productivity in each province;
  • ACTION plan on coffee rust and coffee berry borer; and,
  • EXPLANATION on the collection and use of research and extension levy for decades including its financial and annual reports that is not presented for decades. “We need a small committee to deal with the programme and implementation.

Otherwise, we might have another scam like price support, coffee development proposals and Rumbia Coffee again,” Thompson said