PM Marape clears air on DSIP and COVID-19 funds

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says all 89 MPs received K2 million for COVID-19 on top of their K10 million District Services Improvement Programme (DSIP) funds.

He said this in Parliament on Friday to clear confusion by North Fly MP James Donald and Opposition Leader and Vanimo-Green MP Belden Namah on these funds.

PM Marape said each MP had already received K2 million for COVID-19 for his district last year while disbursement of the K10 million depended on availability of funds.

Of the K2 million for COVID-19: K1 million was earmarked for agriculture intervention, K500,000 for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and K500,000 for micro small to medium enterprises (MSME) intervention.

He said the K2 million of the K10 million DSIP was especially for health and should not be confused with the K2 million allocation for COVID-19.

MP Marape said Donald and Namah should wait and hear what he was saying instead of continuously interjecting.

“Last year, when they (Donald and Namah) received their DSIP, they never said a word of ‘thank you’ to the Government,” he said.

“They are only good at asking.

“They must be happy that the Government is responsible.

“Included in the (K10 million) DSIP is K2 million for the health sector.

“It would be interesting to see what the Vanimo-Green MP has done to the hospital in Vanimo with these funds.”

PM Marape said over the last two years, despite the onset of COVID-19, his Government had tried its very best to meet Budget commitments including DSIP.

He said he would get Finance Minister Hon. Sir John Pundari to reveal exactly how much DSIP had been rolled out during his term as Prime Minister.

PM Marape cited the case of Vanimo-Green receiving K8 million in 2019, K5.5 million in 2020 and K2 million so far in 2021.

“When our cash flow become available, we try to honor (DSIP) to the best of our ability,” he said.

“I want to assure the Opposition that when cash flow allows, you will get what has been committed to you and your district.”