Opposition says loan to Singapore company may exceed 40% of Vanuatu’s GDP

The Vanuatu Opposition remains concerned that the Government is committed to approve work by Singapore-based Vanuatu Trade and Development Limited (VTDL) to build and operate an international airport, albeit after the Government issues promissory notes in the matter. The report of the ad hoc committee of Parliament on this topic is listed as the main item of the extraordinary sitting of Parliament tomorrow. However, one of the Opposition’s members of the committee advised today’s Daily Post no such report could be made available yet because the committee was only formed a fortnight ago. The report does not exist as yet. The Opposition says it will boycott the extraordinary sitting tomorrow if the Government continues to require a promissory note. An EXIM Bank (China) loan for the same project (it seems) and a VNPF loan to Air Vanuatu, appear also to be required by Government at this extraordinary sitting of Parliament. The Opposition is concerned that loans might exceed 40% of the GDP of Vanuatu – a limit to which the International Monetary Fund is committed.

This blog is independently advised that the Australian Government has agreed to assist in the engagement of top-level international lawyers and financial and business consultants in the matter of building and operating airports before the first ordinary session of Parliament in May. No cancellation of tomorrow’s parliamentary sitting, however, had been heard at the time of publication of this blog.

First and third deputy Speakers of Parliament are to be elected at the extraordinary sitting of Parliament.

The Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) General Manager Santos Vatoko has promised a tightening of the VNPF Act after the discovery that a member of the VNPF Board may have had a conflict of interest in the decision for the Fund to invest in Wilco Hardware. Fund investments have been controversial since the riot of 1998, Daily Post reminds us today.

Shefa Provincial Headquarters’ relocation cannot yet be decided, Radio Vanuatu News reported this morning, as no strategy has yet been decided. Finance is the main consideration – some 200 million vatu.

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