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Date Posted: Sat, Jun 21 2008, 04:31:58pm
First of all, DAD and I are always in communication talking about plans that are happening right NOW! For your info, an electricity plant is being constructed in Laiagam right NOW to power a prethrum factory which will be established by a Tasmanian contractor (PK just signed an agreement with them last month). The funds have been allocated and the other RD K10million funds are trickling through. Furthermore, I have notified PK to distribute K10,000 VOUCHERS (not cash) to 41 resthouses in Laiagam (which he identified) to purchase seedlings, bush knives, spades and fertilizers from DPI Laiagam. We are doing things strategically and according to a staged plan. I will be in PNG next week to visit Parliament and talk to PK about our next plans for feeder roads to pyrethrum bulk-growing areas; Digicel mobile tower in Laiagam; HIV/AIDS campaign; and a possible Lagaip-Porgera elites meeting this Christmas.
I have been campaigning on this website; the media; and even before my very people for agriculture and sectoral development since I came to Tokyo after UPNG in 2002. I was the one who gave Somare the idea of bringing competition for Telikom via mobile technology after Morauta's privatization plans (2001) and his own PPP policy (2004) failed. I know that Private Sector Participation is crucial but "how"? If Telikom cannot be privatized then bring competition to show people a taste of private service provision. And I was contracted by Minister Tienstien to write a 15-page policy document on the regulated (via ICCC) deregulation of Telecommunications, Electricity, Water, Ports, Petroleum (i.e. InterOIL), and Port industries. One of my main focuses in the documents was to promote interconnection for effective competition that will suit our population in terms of affordabiliy and accessibility besides their efficient provision. Now, Telikom is about to interconnect with Digicel next week Thursday. Isn't that a breath of relief for you and your people??
Now do NOT tell me what I can and cannot do. I'm not about words only! I've been fighting for development because I am an economic and infrastructure development student of 6 years and I want NOTHING but GOOD for my constituency and nation. We just fought a hard battle to pursue these plans for Laiagam and now Yarka walks the streets! You my friend, are capable of NOTHING and will only DREAM to be passed the torch (which I greatly doubt)!! What are you capable of in the current to long term?!! Next time YOU do something and I'LL WATCH. Otherwise, pasim maus na stap isi!
No hard feelings and don't waste your breath because I won't waste mine..
PS: I do not appreciate Minister Polye for the negative allegations about his personal character but I DO support his well-thought policies. As I said, NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT POLICIES MATTER and I do believe Polye can execute them if he remains.. Polye is but a tool and he is expendable. (Get my drift???)
The National, June 17 (2008)
High quality road means paying toll
THE bid to introduce road toll fees by the Somare Government is a mixture of pain and delight.
I for one am appalled with the condition of the Highlands Highway and the time-resource constraints it incurs on businesses and the government fiscally.
Civil Works Minister Don Polye is a civil engineer who understands the expense of road construction and maintenance for the long term because he knows the procurement and quality control costs.
Should we continue to depend on government budget allocation to fix our roads on an ad-hoc, cheap basis, or shall we institutionalise and introduce a National Road Corporation to take care of our national roads on a user pay basis?
I support the latter.
Polye has only touched an important issue of road sustainability through long-term maintenance and quality control, a problem that PNG so direly faces every year.
Road toll collection fee is an integral part of national road infrastructure development and requires independent financing instead of having to depend on aimless and limitless subsidisation by rising fuel costs and government budgetary allocations.
We have to sacrifice to gain the benefits.
High quality road control means we must be willing to pay for the long term use of roads and not forego the benefits of fiscal resources diverted into other essential social sectors, ie health, education.
In order to seek financing from foreign aid donors or international financiers to develop top quality highways that will last us 20 years, we must be willing to pay to recuperate the financial costs of debt.
Well kept roads will directly lead to the efficiency and rapidity of industrial development especially agriculture.
Public savings and discipline is needed, but in order to balance that suggestion, I do accept that a wage cut may be due for parliamentarians, department heads, and top public servants across the board in PNG.
To ease the burden on commuters and truckers, might I suggest a technical planning committee be established within the Department of Civil Works to calculate subsidised user toll fees based on international interests rates and capital costs that may be eased for the current term but raised in the medium to long term.
Subsidies need to be competitive if we are to have sustainable road concessions implemented by world class road builders.
Market sensitivity requires users pay less now as more subsidies are expended, and pay more afterwards as macroeconomic conditions improve and subsidies gradually diminish.
Competitive subsidies should be a basic criterion for concessionaires interested to construct national highways in PNG.
Considering the huge public cost of such a nationwide project, foreign road construction companies of world class (eg Japan National Road Corporation) repute may be called in to bid and claim equity while required to outsource local contractors.
The flow of technical expertise and knowledge can be immense in this regards.
And might I also add that an Enga-Sepik Highway via Sirunki be constructed along this model to connect Enga and the Southern Highlands to Asian markets.
For this highway, I am willing to pay more.
Stephen Kapus Kikala
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