Corruption, misappropriation affects business: Official

Business

By PETER ESILA
CORRUPTION and misappropriation of funds are the root cause of problems that the business community faces, according to East New Britain chamber of commerce and industry president David Stein. Stein said, during a Business-Government dialogue, that the common issues of deteriorated or poorly maintained infrastructure such as roads and bridges, regular power outages and, law and order issues were just symptoms of the underlying issue which was corruption and mismanagement. He said instances of funds meant for certain areas being redirected or diverted to other non-essential and, many times, questionable, purposes was one reason why many services were not reaching the people. Stein said poor communication and a lack of clarity was the main impediment between private sector and the government and an improvement in this area would see a better exchange of ideas and solutions to problems. He said chambers of commerce also needed to represent all stakeholders that came under them including the business owners, employees and their families and “anybody who has a stake in the economy”. “It is really incumbent on organisations like ours that we communicate with the Government in trying to get some communications going, we have seen a huge decline in public service delivery over the years and we are seeing the massive over-expenditure in Port Moresby, at the expense of provinces, so there is very little infrastructure happening over in the provinces, a lot happening in Port Moresby,” he said. “We have a situation now where the Department of Works is saying now that they do not have any money to fix the potholes, the police are coming and asking for tires and fuel for their vehicles. “It really is a dire situation and I cannot see it improving anytime soon, unless we get in and do something about it.” Stein said there needed to be more emphasis placed on sensible and efficient use of money. “I would like to see the establishment of an infrastructure committee at the national, and also provincial, level where we have got representation from businesses and outside from public service that can help drive some of the priorities and work on the best way of spending the money,” he said.

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