21 Mar 2007

Call in PNG for infrastructure spending to be properly planned and transparent

3:53 pm on 21 March 2007

Papua New Guinea's Institute of National Affairs says it has considerable concern about the government's plans to provide hundreds of millions of dollars to East and West Sepik provinces for infrastructure projects.

The Post Courier newspaper says the money, around 600 million kina or 267 million US dollars, has been approved for gift projects.

It says the money is from the funding put aside to help pay for the now abandoned PNG-Queensland gas pipeline.

Paul Barker of the Institute of National Affairs says the country faces a huge backlog in much needed infrastructure development but it needs to be managed in a transparent and orderly manner by the agencies set up to handle it.

"There is considerable concern when there is very major expenditure for particular provinces or particualr project activities, particularly in the build up to the election because sustainability is what is critical."

Paul Barker