State Lease Title holders throughout the country owe K94 million to the Department of Lands and Physical Planning through unpaid annual land rent.
This was revealed in a statement issued by Lands Minister Benny Allan. And officers of the Department have been instructed to immediately collect on all outstanding arrears.
Mr Allan said that “state lease title holders are required by law to pay an annual land rent or face having their titles forfeited by the state.
“I have instructed Department of Lands and Physical Planning officers to go out and collect all of the K94 million that is owed to the state,” Mr Allan said.
He further stated that the Department had lost out on millions of kina because of “defaulting state lease holders, especially business houses and semi-government organizations, have been allowed to get away without sorting out their annual land rental bills”, with many deliberately avoiding paying their annual land rent.
This situation has been exacerbated by the lack of a dedicated section within the department for debt collection.
Mr Allan said this proposed change should result in greater transparency and allow ordinary Papua New Guineans a better “chance of obtaining state lease titles as long as they meet the requirements”.