By MALUM NALU
Bulolo MP and Deputy Opposition Leader Sam Basil says projects totaling up to K9 million in his electorate had come to a standstill because the government has still not released his electorate’s district support improvement programme (DSIP) funds for 2013.
“Everything,” he said.
“K9 million worth of projects has stopped.”
The projects which have grinded to a halt include rural policing, road maintenance, foot bridges, honey, rural electrification, Garaina road K5 million, support vehicles for each LLG, mobile health, Leklu Bridge and Latu bridges, Balob Teachers College corporate sponsorship for next year, road from Wagau to Bumatu in Labu, eye operations for people in all LLGs, Bulolo Technical College sponsorship, livestock, sponsorship of training for Wau Mining School, fuel for machinery, foot bridges, Buang hydro power, drugs and various others.
Basil said he had only received K1 million this year, K2 million was still to be cleared, and K7 million was outstanding.
Last Friday, backed by a rowdy crowd of supporters, Basil fired a broadside at Finance Secretary Dr Ken Nangan at Vulupindi Haus,
“You are the Secretary of Department of Finance,” he told Nangan,
“Bulolo is one of the 89 districts, which has two mines that pay taxes to the government.
“Bulolo has people who are into alluvial mining, coffee, is home to PNG Forest Products and Zenag Chicken.
“We play a big role in the development of PNG, unlike many other districts, in terms of our taxes.
“The government last year passed the Appropriation Act, which says that all 89 districts of PNG will receive K89 million.
“From January up till December, Bulolo district has received K1 million and I got another K2 million, which is yet to be cleared.
“Practically, we have K9 million yet to be received.”
Basil said legal action was being sought for immediate release of outstanding funds with orders that Finance Minister James Marape pay all costs.
“We are taking court action,” he said.
“Our lawyer will take out a court order before Dec 31 to James Marape and his Secretary.
“We won’t stop there.
“As soon as the order is released, we will go further.
“Damage has been done: 12 months no projects.
“We will seek further orders that no more DSIPs be paid out in cheques and all payments must be paid out electronically at the same time.
“Payments must be made quarterly.
“We will seek a court order in that regards and we will pass on all legal costs to James Marape, not the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
“The minister himself misused his powers in terms of delaying and instructing his Finance Secretary to delay the payments.
“We will ensure that he pays the full legal costs that the opposition will pick up.”