Adelaide Kari – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Hargy Oil Palm General Manager, Graham King, has called on the government to find businesses that are already providing services to the people and partner with them, not the other way around.
King was a part of the panelists on Tanim Graun, discussing on the decentralisation of government.
One particular issue was of bringing services to the most remote parts of the country.
King and the panel’s church representative, Reverend Bernard Siai, made it clear the District Development Authority (DDA) needs to work with business and churches to deliver services to the people.
King says that last year his company provided medical care for 76,000 people in Bialla district, where his company operates. This was because of the lack of medical service in the rural area, and will be a key area where its DDA will have to look at.
He also added that his company had worked on road and bridges linking Bialla to Kimbe after they were washed away last year. This cost his company K2 million.
When he put in an invoice the government had said there was no money.
He said the service they provide is better than what the government can, and the DDA needs to work closely with them.
King also talked on the tax credit’scheme of 1.25 per cent, saying that it needed to be lifted to 5 per cent if the government wanted businesses taking part in the scheme.
Minister for National Planning, Charles Abel, said the government was looking at lifting it to 5 per cent to better ensure partnership with businesses.
Another key institute in public/private partnerships to deliver services to rural communities is the church.
Rev. Siai says that even in the most remote parts of the country you will always find a church.
He says that churches have been providing services such as education and health services, and the DDA needs to look at forming partnerships to be effective.
Abel responded saying that the government has not forgotten churches and the work they do.
He said churches that provide services usually get funding but unfortunately this year due to certain circumstances funding was delayed.
He added that the government will still be funding them through other means such as their local DDA.