By LIONEL MUNGAE
Prime Minister James Marape has committed K200 million through the National Development Bank (NDB) for various Small and Medium Enterprise roll-out programs for this year.
During his visit to the NDB office last week, accompanied by Lands Minister John Rosso and Minister for State Enterprises Sasindran Muthuvel, Marape said NDB will facilitate loans for young Papua New Guineans who wish to venture into businesses by providing soft loan at flexible rates.
He further stressed that NDB is working on minimizing interest on loans to ensure that it attracts citizens to access financial support to start-up businesses.
Marape also challenged the NDB staff to be proactive in their work to serve the people and not to be biased.
“Today when we came in, the management and board of NDB have indicated to us that they have facilities currently on the market to support the agriculture intervention, SME intervention and also to ensure that those existing Papua New Guinean businesses that are struggling can come for refinancing with the bank,” the Prime Minister said.
Marape urged Papua New Guineans to run and localize businesses in various sectors including agriculture, which is the backbone of the economy where most of the population have access to.
“When we talk about taking back PNG, we want citizens to participate in business; there’s no point you building a tucker box somewhere and you invite a Bangladeshi or Indian to come and run the tucker box. Why don’t you do it yourself?” said Mr Marape.
He challenged more Papua New Guineans to think about business start-ups that would generate more income for the families and improve the growth of the economy.