K600mil for Covid-19 response too small: Namah

National

By REBECCA KUKU
THE K600 million budgeted by the Government as direct funding support for the Covid-19 response is too small, says Opposition Leader Belden Namah.
Namah said Prime Minister James Marape “had come off the block way too late to be of any help to the people”.
“Covid-19 has been around since its discovery in Wuhan, China last December. The rest of the world had responded to this pandemic in January and February of 2020,” he said.
“Papua New Guinea responded in March. Now when the whole world is scaling down, PNG is scaling up its efforts.”
He said the initial K280 million allocated for the state of emergency had been increased to K600 million as announced by Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey “who appears as if he just returned to planet earth from outer space”.
Namah described it as “piecemeal”.
“Where is the supplementary budget? Where is the stimulus budget? Where is the amendment to the superannuation fund laws to authorise withdrawals for members affected by the Covid-19?” Namah said.
“How can you call this Covid-19 funds when there is no supplementary budget to give the prime minister and his treasurer the legal mandate to go out to the financial market to raise or borrow funds?
“Parliament is yet to be recalled where all these are supposed to be deliberated on and approved.
“The Opposition, as an important and responsible part of government, has been pointing out the way forward since February to no avail.”
Namah said if the virus had hit the country more badly as it did other countries, it would have been a disaster “far worse than anywhere else”.

2 comments

  • Total waste of money.
    We appear to have a natural resistant to the virus. We will know the reason soon. No one has died from COVID but TB and malaria are still doing the damage, killing people daily.
    Please divert the money to TB and malaria.
    STOP SOE and disband the COVID task force.
    It is composed of pretty average medical experts giving mediocre health advice to government

  • Its a Total waste of money so cut those budget back or else subsidized it on other common existing sickness in PNG. I believe that we have natural resistance to those diseases so why cant PNG government do the opposite by using some Critical thinking and innovative ideas; which would set some legacy behind by turning those Covid-19 expenditure (K600Million) into Income more than that by sending more covid 19 patient overseas into one of our isolated in PNG and quarantined them there without medication and hence that we can prove to the world that we have a natural Covid -19 free climate which can naturally resist the virus .

    I have no doubt with my ideas because we have already proved almost eight positive cases brought oversea and has been heal naturally once enter the soil of PNG. In that way, we can pull the world demand for Covid-19 patients and thus our country can flourish in twinkling of an eye which would set a world history which our further generation would remember.

    PNGUoT student.

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