Caption: Participants at the forum.
THE Department for Community Development and Religion aspires to grow the informal economy which supports and caters for 75% of the population.
This was relayed to women from the Highlands Region who attended the PNG Regional Women’s Forum for the Highlands Region from Feb 6-8.
Department of Community Development Assistant Secretary for Informal Economy, Steven James, told women in his presentation the government’s focus on only on 15% of the country’s population in the formal economy, while the other 75 per cent make up the informal economy – a majority of the vendors or participants are women.
“Any form of income earning activities that does not operate under the government’s laws is informal economy,” he said.
“In terms of the Informal Economy Policy and Act, both have been reviewed after consultations with the responsible government agencies and partners, with the Policy to be ready in March this year, and the Act called The National Informal Sector Development and Control Act which is also ready to be submitted to Parliament this year.”
Mr James said the composition of the informal economy made up of urban and rural while most of the mothers, youths, men, or even the marginalized population have not been properly recognized by the government to improve the resources that can be utilized by these groups to help with their income earning activities.
With the main reason to have the policy and Act endorsed and passed, to help protect and improve the informal economy sector to benefits everyone.
“Our mothers in the rural and urban areas are seen selling their goods under makeshift shelters, umbrellas or even on the ground without proper shelter, toilet facilities, and water and sanitation,” Mr James said.
“That is why the introduction of this Policy and Act is all about serving the interest of the Informal economy vendors or participants.”