Work on budget to start in Jan

National, Normal

The National – Monday, December 20, 2010

ACTING Prime Minister Sam Abal has recalled all heads of department on Christmas break to start work on Jan 7 to start implementing the 2011 budget.
“January 7, 2011, is the date set for implementation.
“I want secretaries and departmental heads to start serving.
“I have to recall some of them back from leave. 2011 must be a year of implementation,” Abal said yesterday.
The acting prime minister also appealed to the media, whom he said was the fourth estate, to start putting their foot down to assist the other three arms of government in the development of the nation.
Abal said this when meeting with senior media personnel at the Golden Bowl Restaurant yesterday.
“Next year, I want to bring back all ministers and I have asked the chief secretary to organise a meeting at Loloata Island Resort.
“Departments must get up and start rolling things out by January and not wait until February and March,” he said.
Abal said Papua New Guineans had a tendency to go on long extended holidays without getting things done.
“We have to shape up on time. Let’s start on Jan 7 with the implementation of the budget.”
He said the 2011 budget was the biggest budget available to start work in carrying out government business of looking after the people in providing much needed services.
He also gave an undertaking that there would be no cabinet reshuffle under his stewardship.
Abal, who has been in office for four days as acting prime minister, said the “whip” is always there but it was not always necessary to use it.
He said there would be no changes to departmental heads and in government.
“We have very capable ministers and departmental heads. There is no need for me to crack the whip.”
Abal said there was a national interest that deserved full government attention and there was no need to play politics.
“I ask for everyone’s cooperation and for us to sit down together and brainstorm on how we can implement the biggest budget in the country’s history.”
Abal said he disagreed with commentators especially those in opposition claiming the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare was another “Mugabe”.
He said Sir Michael could have cling onto power but decided to offer it him.
“If he was Mugabe, he would not have transferred power to me.
“I disagree with comments that prime minister is Mugabe, he did not cling onto power,” Abal said.