By Vasinatta Yama – EM TV, Port Moresby
West New Britain Governor, Sasindran Muthuvel, calls for the government to grant the province four more districts.
He said the province has a huge population and geographical land mass, which supports having six districts.
The governor’s call concerns service delivery in the province, as well as insufficient Provincial and District Support Improvement Program grants.
The district of Talasea – home to more than 230,000 people who are scattered across a vast geographical area – and Kandrian Gloucester have no road connection, and depend primarily on sea transport.
Governor Sasindran said the Provincial Support Improvement Program (PSIP) and District Support Improvement Program (DSIP) funds are calculated depending on the province’s number of districts.
Although attempts have been made to establish new districts, the Electoral Commission Boundary Report has not been acknowledged or approved by previous governments.
Governor Sasindran said that although West New Britain produces more revenue to the government through Oil Palm, little money is received.
He also said that the K10 million PSIP fund (K2 million to health; K2 million to education; K3 million to infrastructure; K1 million to law and order; and K1 million for economic activities) has not had significant development impact.
Governor Sasindran urged the government to allocate funds according to the population, geographical marks, and the difficulties in service delivery. He said all these factors have to be differentiated, so that the people receive the level of service delivery that they deserve.