Govt acknowledged for commitment to accountability

TIPNG Chairman Peter Aitsi has commended the Government on taking the first step towards breaking a trend of administrations evading public scrutiny that has plagued PNG emergency public procurement in recent years.  

“It is very encouraging to note that our Government has now made this commitment to table a fully audited COVID-19 SOE funding report at the earliest available opportunity. This demonstrates that they are taking the responsibility to set a better example in the way that emergency public procurement can be managed,” Aitsi said.

Opposition demands recall of Parliament

Namah said such actions taken by the Government fails to address the effects of COVID-19 on the struggling private sector and the people of PNG.

He explained that the passing of the Supplementary Budget will give effect to the recent announcement of the K5.6 billion stimulus package.

Namah said the Government plans to introduce its Fiscal Stimulus Package in the June session of Parliament.

He asked why prolong it for another two months, when they can intervene through the fiscal policy adjustment now.

Parliament to debate declaration

This is to comply with the requirement of the national constitution, where Parliament is convened immediately, or at any time before the expiry of the national emergency.

The special sitting on April 2nd is to fulfill the above requirement as well as allow for Parliament to:

VoNC Notice requirements

Acting Clerk of Parliament, Kala Aufa clarified that the VoNC motion will need to meet certain requirements in the constitution before it is put on the Notice Paper.

The office of the Clerk of Parliament has clarified that with parliament adjourned, the Private Business Committee, chaired by the Speaker of Parliament, could not sit the following day Wednesday 8th May to discuss the motion of the Vote of No Confidence.

The Private Business Committee only meets on Wednesdays, when parliament sitting continues, to examine all Private Business motions.

Parlt adjourns

Leader of Government Business, James Marape, clarified that the adjournment was not to avoid the Vote of No-Confidence but government business will prevail as it is.

Leader of Government Business and Finance Minister, James Marape, when clarifying the adjournment today in Parliament, said the Vote of no-confidence is still open to the Opposition to move the motion if they think they have the numbers.

He said the Government is intact and confident that they will outnumber the Opposition if they move the motion.

Rural students cannot access online system: MP

Nawaeb MP Kennedy Wenge queried how rural students were expected to apply online when they do not have access to computers or the internet.

For the second time in Parliament, Wenge outlined that schools are not only located in cities or urban areas.

The World Bank reported in 2016 that 86.96 percent of PNG’s population live in the rural areas.

Wenge told Parliament that rural-based students, including those from his electorate in Morobe Province, are at a disadvantage following the introduction of the National Online Application System.

New Boram Hospital will open: PM

 He said this when responding to Ambunti-Dreikikir MP, Johnson Wapunai, in Parliament on Tuesday.

Wapunai said there were rumours the project would not begin because the Government had no funding.

O’Neill said the project will be launched early next month and the funding for the project has been secured through a Czechoslovakian EXIM Bank Loan and counterpart funding from the Government.

“The Government has signed off on a concessional loan from Czechoslovakian Government,” said O’Neill.

Kramer’s referral censors freedom of speech: Opposition

The 24-member Opposition team said the referral of Madang MP Bryan Kramer was a biased decision and a ploy to censor freedom of expression in the country.

“As far as we are concerned, a public statement is subject to scrutiny by every citizen of this country, including members of Parliament,” said Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch.

They said the tactic is employed to deny leaders and the people of the country their right to criticise leaders.

“If we allow this to happen, this is a very sad day,” said Moresby North West MP, Mekere Morauta.

Parliament to resume at 2pm

Once approved by Parliament the Act will lead the way for social and economic reconstruction and restoration of provinces impacted by the magnitude 7.5 earthquake on February 26.

The Act will be tabled with the report on where the Government is in terms of achieving the relief support.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said once endorsed, the Act will be up and running as soon as possible.

He explained that the relief committee effort will be transferred to the Restoration Authority.

Parliament to be recalled: PM

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told this newsroom that after the NEC’s approval, Parliament will then be recalled after seven days and deliberate on.

The Opposition has raised concerns regarding proper costing for the earthquake relief funds recently.

They said for the Government to put a number to the relief budget is premature.

They are urging the Government to put more emphasis on the relief work on emergency services the people needed right now in the quake disaster provinces.