Budget allocation for law and order decreases

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INSTITUTE of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker says it is surprising that the 2018 budget allocation for law and order has decreased.
“When businesses are asked what their major impediments are, at the moment, they include shortage of foreign exchange, poor public goods and services like infrastructure, power, telecommunication, corruption is a big concern to the private sector, land, public procurement, but also law and order generally,” he said.
“And it’s actually a bigger handicap to the smaller to medium enterprises, in certain industries like tourism, than it is to some of the bigger corporations. It certainly affects Papua New Guinean businesses.
“It was a little bit surprising to me in the budget this time that there was a reduction in the allocation to law and order in terms of the allocations to the police and the Justice and Attorney-General’s Department.
“I would have thought that by 2018 when the Apec meeting will be held, with all the issues affecting households, like sorcery, violence, gender-based violence. But obviously I guess it’s the quality of policing as well.
“You do not want just a police force. You want a police force
that will be effective and accountable and trained, properly disciplined. So I guess it was a bit surprising to see that reduction in that area.”
Meanwhile, Minister for National Planning Monitoring Richard Maru said law and justice were the critical enablers of development and social cohesion and continued to be prioritised under the capital investment budget.
“Important infrastructure such as Waigani Court House Construction (K80 million), Correctional Services Infrastructure (K10 million), and Police Infrastructure Programme (K10 million) continue to be funded in 2018 budget.”