Distribute financial resources equally

Letters, Normal

THE Government must seriously take a coordinated approach in spreading development using national financial resources to ensure that there is equal distribution of the national wealth in all the provinces and districts, regardless of whether they are generating revenue for the nation or not.
Distribution of national wealth equally is also consistent with our eight-point development goals.
There are some provinces and districts which received more development funds from the Government and development partners than others.
As such, there is unequal development.
For example, East New Britain province is the most Government-favoured province compared to Western province.
There is a massive development gap between these two provinces if you look at it closely.
There may be a lot of determining factors in the rate of development experienced in these provinces but the crux of the matter is fair resources allocation for all the provinces by the Government as provinces cannot develop without Government funding.   
Speaking of ENBP, it is benefiting a lot from the Government and development partners in terms of resources allocation for restoration and rehabilitation work after the volcano destruction of Rabaul in 1994.
Mind you, all these funds from development partners are not free money as they were loans and the people of PNG are repaying these loans now.
Recently, the Government has approved K125 million for various project to be undertaken in Kokopo as reported in The National (March 25).
The ministers for Planning, Treasury and Communication have collectively arranged for financing of projects through Nasfund to the tune of K125 million by way of using Government Treasury Bill.
It is easy for the three ministers and Nasfund to make this financing arrangement because all these people have something common with the province.
What is of concern now is the continuous public debt the Government is incurring for funding projects in this particular province alone through GRA programmes and the K125 million is an additional public debt.
My view is that development projects should be funded through the normal budgetary process and not through some other arrangements to prudently manage or control our public debt and spread the wealth of the nation equally.
The Government must also justify why some provinces got more funding while others do not have that same privilege.   
In addition, provinces must be encouraged to borrow money to fund projects on their own rather than through the Government basing on their developmental needs which cannot be satisfied by Government funding.
This means provinces must play a pro-active role in being entrepreneurial.
Development in the country must be properly managed and coordinated so that scarce financial resources could be equally distributed.
PNG already has development plans and strategies in MTDS and Vision 2050.
Therefore, resources allocation must be guided by these plans and not on ad hoc basis as what we are seeing now.


Wotekep Kangtekep
Port Moresby