3 Jun 2008

PNG border development projects delayed

10:23 am on 3 June 2008

Border development projects in Papua New Guinea have been further delayed as government departments debate who is responsible for payment.

The projects included upgrading of the Wutung border post in Sandaun Province to allow for the official opening of the road link with Indonesia, which is already 18 months behind schedule.

The projects were earmarked for funding this year through the Border Development Programme which had been administered by the Provincial and Local Government Affairs Department, but Treasury and Finance Minister Patrick Pruaitch says he is now responsible and has not released the funds.

Mr Pruaitch's assumption of border development responsibilities has come as a surprise to those in Provincial and Local Government Affairs offices, who say they hadn't been told.

The National newspaper reports 8 million US was set aside in the 2008 National Budget for the Border Development Programme - the biggest allocation yet to improve border security and increase trade.