THE Government has seen sport as a catalyst for development by allocating K16 million in the 2010 Budget, which was handed down by Minister for Finance and Treasury Patrick Pruaitch yesterday.
Sports Minister Philemon Embel welcomed the allocation, stating that the K6.5 million allocated to the PNG Sports Foundation was a 100% increase in the foundation’s recurrent expenditure.
Embel had sought, and secured, an additional K10 million through a Public Investment Programme (PIP) allocation for the establishment of a sports department.
Initially, the PNG Sports Foundation requested K23 million in funding but was given K6.5 million.
The allocated K6.5 million (K6.570.5) is an increase of K3.3 million (K3.387.1) from last year’s allocation of K3.183.4 million.
The money will cater for salary and wages of the staff, while PNGSF will still have to dig deep to carry out its sporting programmes around the country.
Minister Embel requested K10 million from the Government, stressing that if it was serious about sports and had separated it as a ministry on its own, then funding had to be available as well. He said as Minister solely responsible for sports money was needed to established a department or office to provide policy and give direction to the PNG Sports Foundation and its agents in implementing the Government’s sports policy and programmes.
Embel called on PNGSF to development strategic plans for training and facilities development.
Next year, the “Sports Office” would concentrate on this two areas: strategic plans and facilities.
The Nipa/Kutubu member reiterated that the Government would support all sporting codes in the country, and such bodies as PNG Sports Foundation, PNG Sports Federation and all the national sporting federations.
“We will assist sports that have a greater following, and that fare well at the international level and these are the sports we will be targeting,” he said.
He appealed to sporting codes not to expect the government to inject money into sports but they must draw up their development programmes, do scoping especially in the areas of facilities, infrastructure and also clinical programs.
When asked on why the PNG NRL Bid and 2015 Pacific Games had no allocation for the 2010 Budget, Minister replied that the money to cater for these two government projects would come under by the National Gaming Board.
Attempts to contact PNG Sports Foundation chief executive officer Iamo Launa last night on the budget were unsuccessful.