Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Papua New Guinea Parliament passes vital legislations

By Isaac Nicholas
Post-Courier, 20th Feb 2014

Members of Parliament had a busy day in the office yesterday sitting through lunch hour to deal with more than 12 legislations that came before the House.
The Opposition, which has been advocating on corruption issues in the country, were not in the House to give Prime Minister Peter O’Neill the support to pass the Independent Commission Against Corruption Bill.

The lone opposition MP and Madang Governor Jim Kas supported all the government amendment legislations that went before Parliament.
The Prime Minister introduced the ICAC Bill and the District Authorities Bill that got the support of the 91 members present in the House.

Public Service Minister Sir Puka Temu than introduced amendments to the Provincial and Local Level Governments legislations, in consequential amendments that sets the foundation for the public service under the new District Development Authority.
Sir Puka also presented the Appointment of Certain Officers legislations that will effectively cut off the Public
Service Commission In the appointment of provincial and district administrators. Minister Temu said under the new laws the appointment of the district and provincial administrators will go through the normal application process but the Governor and Open Member will have a final say on the appointment.

Minister for Justice and Attorney General and Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Kerenga Kua brought in the Dual Citizenship legislations which also got support from Parliament.

Environment and Conservation Minister John Pundari who brought in the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority Bill among six other amendments also got the required support. The Conservation and Environment Conservation Bill which was passed will enable the Authority to raise its own revenue through the imposition of an environment management fee on the industry.

The send part of the amendment requires the Parliament to authorize expenditure and borrowings designed for greater transparency in the Authority’s management of the funds that it raised. He also brought in four other amendments to the Environment Act that was passed.

The final two legislative amendments was by Minister for Commerce and Industry who introduced amendments to the Company’s Act that will assist small to medium enterprises to register their businesses or companies on-line to cut down on the cumbersome process.

He said this was aimed to encourage the government policy in building the SME’s from the current 40 000 to 500 000 by 2030.
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