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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 20) – Papua New Guinea Inter-Government Relations Minister Peter Barter told Parliament yesterday that K1 million (US$337,000) will be distributed to the provinces for the celebration of the country’s 30th independence anniversary.

Barter’s response came after Wosera/Gaw Member of Parliament Gallus Yumbui questioned the adequacy of funds in the districts to support the country’s 30th Independence celebration in September.

Barter said some months ago, K500,000 (US$168,000) was allocated to provinces but the National Events Council later increased the amount to K1 million.

"I reminded them the most important thing was to make a lot of the people participate and that would be to include the 80 per cent of the people that lived in the districts," Barter said.

He said this amount was increased to K1 million which would be distributed according to the population in all districts in the country.

"A list has been made up and I am happy to distribute it to MPs so they can know how much money the council will be distributing to each province," he said.

Barter said the K1 million was not going to fit everyone and it would need people to contribute, including money from MPs’ discretionary funds. He said it was not just the question of money that made the celebration important but the participation of the people.

"I strongly recommend that the members speak to their people in the district to start asking them to perform for the celebrations. This is an event that we should be celebrating," Barter said.

He said culture was an important part of the people’s life in the country and given the occasion that the country was celebrating, it was something that the people should be proud of. "We will also be distributing 10,000 flags according to the population of districts, not provinces throughout PNG," Barter said.

July 21, 2005

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