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BOUGAINVILLE president Dr John Momis has told the autonomous region's parliament that his government will take the Papua New Guinea government to court if it continues to fail to meet its financial obligations.

Dr Momis said many millions of dollars is due to Bougainville according to the terms of the peace agreement that formally ended the civil war and which was concluded with PNG in 2001.

In a lengthy statement, Dr Momis said his government estimate that PNG had underpaid Bougainville for the recurrent unconditional grant and owes at least US$33 million dollars, which must be paid immediately.

He also said Bougainville is owed another US$207 million under the Restoration and Development Grant.

Dr Momis said the national tax office is also failing to hand over taxes collected in Bougainville.

He said that under the peace agreement once Bougainville has achieved a degree of restoration equal to that of the rest of the country, it could start setting and collecting its own taxes.

Dr Momis said he believes that has now been achieved and Bougainville wants to take over the collection of personal income tax and goods and services tax.

He said the peace agreement was a negotiated contract to end war and given effect by PNG constitutional laws.

If PNG cannot be trusted to implement the financial arrangements of that agreement, then the ongoing relationship is threatened, he said.

Dr Momis stated that, if there is no solution by the next joint consultative meeting in February, court action will follow.


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