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No overseas trips for PNG minister, officers

THE two Bills for the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) are part of the agriculture sector’s 100-day plan that will be reviewed at the Parliament this month says Benny Allen Minister for Agriculture & Livestock.

Mr Allen outlined the DAL’s 100-day plan in raising revenue in accordance with the Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel’s recent announcement of the government’s 100-day economic recovery plan.

He said this last week Thursday to his DAL commodity boards like the National Research Institute, National Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA) including all the others.

“The Agricultural Administrative and Adjustment Bill and Agricultural Investment Corporation & the Amended Bio-Security Bill are before the National Parliament that will be reviewed,” he said.

“As the sector accorded the No1 priority to generate revenue drive for the economy of the country, the Agriculture Sector is committed to delivering the following priorities over the next 100 days.

“The implementation of the Coffee Berry Borer Emergency Response Program will be our core priority – it is an ongoing thing that we have started last year and we will carry that forward for its continuatively.

“We will also undertake audit of all State Land under Certificate Authorize Occupancy (CAO) or with the titles held by the DAL commodity board and agencies.

“We know there are some agricultural land in the hands of private companies and individuals but we are not referring to those, these are CAO under DAL so we are trying to do audit all across the country within the 100 days to find out exactly what the status of that lands are like.

“Some of those you know that they are run-down and some of those lands are being used by farmers but we want to know their status.”

He said between now and 100 days they will also be consulting and working with the commodity boards and finding out on their performance so far and what they intend to do in the next 5 years.

“Also the Central Commercial Rice Farming Project has set a quota which we feel that it should be reviewed and it will go through the State Solicitor’s Office.

“The DAL will also prepare tax business incentive package for small, medium and large entrepreneurs.”

Mr Allen said there will be cost saving measures taken accordingly – no overseas trip unless paid for by external sponsors.

“No more overseas trips paid by this government. If it is paid by donors or private sector than that is OK for the officers to travel that is including myself as the minister. We will not travel unless it is truly necessary and important to attend that will bring revenue to the country.

“There will be no conferences, no more meetings in hotels. If we want to conduct meeting it is here in the DAL office conference room, it is big enough to host conferences.”

He said there will be no renting of office space. In this regard, the Southern Region Office currently housed at the L&A Building at 6 Mile will relocate to the DAL premises at Konedobu. Sunday Chronicle/PNG Today
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