A BILL is now before Parliament to increase the number of Cabinet ministries from 32 to 38.
Prime Minister James Marape introduced the Bill last week to amend the Prime Minister and National Executive Council Act, to bring up the number of ministries because of increased workload and to cater for the addition in the number of electorates in recent times.
PM Marape said more ministers were needed to manage key sectors and address pressing development issues to keep up with the fast-increasing growth rate of the country.
He said: “On the eve of the 10th Parliament, we presented the Electoral Boundaries Commission Report and Parliament approved seven new open seats to be included in the 2022 Election and now we have a 118 seat Parliament.
“Consistent with the approval last year, by 2027 we will have a further five seats included in this Parliament. This gives us an opportunity to better build up our people’s representation in Parliament and to better distribute the nation’s resources. This increase must be seen in the context of no adjustments since 1977. Our representation was stagnant for a better part of our 48 years as an independent country.
“We also have our population growth rate at around 3 percent with an economy growth that is trying to catch up. We now have 97 electorates and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, with five more electorates coming up.
“We need to start counter these increases. So, we need to set up new ministries, get competent ministers in, so the Government can concentrate on those sectors that are lying idle or need more focus on, and improve service delivery in these areas,” PM Marape said.