Call to govt to release funds for provinces


NORTHERN Governor Gary Juffa, has urged the Government to seriously consider the plight of provincial governments and release outstanding recurrent budget funds due to the provinces.
Juffa said the provincial governments were finding it increasingly difficult to deliver even the minimum level of services to their people without these vital grants which are constitutionally guaranteed and passed by Parliament.
He said vital services such as health, education, law and order and emergency disaster response were severely affected endangering his peoples’ lives and causing much despair and misery for rural communities.
Juffa said his government was seeking legal advice as to what options were available to compel the National Government to deliver on humanitarian grounds.
“We cannot have the PNG Games play and be merry or Apec when we cannot provide basic health care for the bulk of our people,” he said.
“We hear time and time again that the country has no cash flow problem but the reality is very obvious with only a fraction of our funds being paid.
Oro, for instance, has only received two months’ grants and it is now end of the year.
To make matters worse PSIP (provincial service improvement programme funds) for this year have not been paid and neither has any of the proceeds of the sale of our shares in Higaturu Palm Oil to Sime Daryb.
“Why does the Government mistreat our people so? Are we not Papua New Guineans? Do we not have a right to these grants which are guaranteed by law?”