The much promulgated government intervention in the PNG SME sector has been left out cold by the 2017 budget.
The sentiments and impressions given to our people through the SME summits, the SME stimulus package culminating into the now established SME Policy and SME Master Plan 2016-2030 has been tossed aside.
This is disheartening considering the prominence given to the SME council by the Prime Minister’s chairmanship and the Commerce Trade & Industry Minister’s relentless efforts to get the policy and master plan into implementation stage with government budgetary support.
We need an explanation from the government why the SME Corporation has not been given any program budget allocations to start implementing the master plan in earnest.
The excitement created and the hopes raised are shattered. Serious questions need to be asked.
People must not be confused with the K40 million allocated to the NDB with the SME programme funding that is supposed to be allocated to the SME Corporation. The SME Corporation should be fully funded under the public investment programme as the Government’s lead institution to kick start and drive the implementation of the SME Policy and master plan which is a comprehensive development program that deserve significant funding.
For the long term success of the PNG SME sector and to transform the lives of Papua New Guineans through the SME policy and master plan, a new ministry and department need to be created to focus on implementing the SME Policy and master plan.
It must focus on creating 500,000 successful SMEs and two million secure jobs within the next 20 years and thereafter sustain our peoples’ future development and prosperity through the SME evolution.
Otherwise, it is just a dream and a political ploy cleverly employed by the Government to suit its political agenda.
Lemech John Kama
Wosera, East Sepik