The National, Friday June 21st, 2013
MEMBERS of the Opposition have lashed out at delays in the payment of their district services improvement programme (DSIP) funds.
The seven MPs, including Belden Namah, said in a media statement yesterday that all government members had been paid K3 million each while they had received less or nothing.
However, Finance Minister James Marape said in a letter to Namah: “… the delay in the DSIP funding was due to cash flow and tight management of the deficit budget.”
Marape said he was acting within the requirements of Section 3 of the Public Finance Management Act.
“These actions were in no way intended to penalise the members of the opposition,” he said.
“By the year’s end, all MPs will have received K10 million each for their respective electorates.”
Namah said yesterday that Marape “must be honest, own up and be fair to all electorates”, whether the MPs were in the government or opposition.
“Marape cannot hide the fact that he has been discriminatory and unfair in the distribution of DSIP funds,” he said.
“My people of Vanimo-Green River are yet to receive their funds. To date, not even a single toea has been paid into the Vanimo-Green River district DSIP trust account from the K10 million entitlements.
“We are already in the middle of 2013.
“The huge discrepancy between the amounts received by government MPs as opposed to what their colleagues in the opposition have received clearly highlights our claim that it is a ploy by the government to lure opposition MPs.
“Papua New Guineans in six open electorates and a province have been unfairly deprived of development and progress. It is simply illegal and unconstitutional.
“Discrimination is illegal and not permitted by law. It is also contrary to the fourth goal of the National Constitution which calls for fair and equitable distribution of national wealth.
“This stupid and dirty politics must cease immediately,” the Vanimo-Green MP said.
The other opposition MPs are Sam Basil (Bulolo), Dr Allan Marat (Rabaul), Tobias Kulang (Kundiawa-Gembogl), Ross Seymour (Huon-Gulf), Lauta Atoi (North Bougainville) and Madang Governor Jim Kas.