Lae city’s budget too low, says mayor

Lae News, Normal

The National- Monday, January 10, 2011

 THE total budget allocation for Lae city is K11 million, a figure that is considered by the lord mayor to be low.

Councillor James Khay renewed calls at the Morobe provincial assembly budget session last Friday that government was dragging its feet to make Lae city council a commission.

He urged the Minister for Inter Government Relations Job Pomat to come out and explain the long delay in submitting Lae city commission draft bill for endorsement by the parliament.

Khay said the commission status would enable Lae City achieved its plans. 

The draft bill was formalised in 2006 by the Lae city council.

The Morobe provincial executive council and the assembly approved the document and handed it to Pomat for submission to the National Executive Council.

“It has taken five years for the minister to do what was best for Lae city as the document collects dust at Waigani.

“If approved, the commission status will allow the city authority to earn more to take care of itself than waiting for K2 million national government allocations each year,” Khay said.

Of the city’s budget, K9 million comes from internal revenue and K2 million from the national government.

He said the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs bars the city council from generating income. 

If it becomes a commission, it would not need to come under the section.

“With a better income level, we can be able to look after and manage our parks and gardens in the city’s beautification projects, improve garbage and dumping sites, drainage, city streets and lightings and many others,” he said.