MY wife and I own and operate a small informal business in Popondetta, Northern.
We sell sewn blouses including that of which we order from Kokopo and Lae respectively.
All blouses are sewn locally.
With Prime Minister James Marape’s vision of “Take Back PNG” and his support of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) business and encouragement to Papua New Guineans to start up SMEs, we registered our small business with the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA).
We were issued an IPA certificate, which enabled us to acquire a tax identification number (TIN) certificate from the Internal Revenue Commission. In order for one to start a business, one should have these documents.
We then started operating under a tent selling sewn blouses as a registered entrepreneur.
Last week, Popondetta town authority under the town mayor engaged Popondetta police task force to remove informal SMEs operating in town.
We were no exception.
The police task force ordered us to pull down the tent and told us not to sell in town.
The Government is encouraging SMEs but its agent is doing the opposite.
I approached the mayor, explaining that our business was registered with IPA and we had a TIN certificate from the Internal Revenue Commission, and if we could be allowed to continue selling.
The mayor told us not to do business, claiming we did not seek his approval before registering our business with the IPA.
Registering a business with the IPA does not require an approval from any authority, in this case, the town mayor.
I challenge the mayor to know government policies and be innovative in creative idea and policy making.
He should understand the Government’s initiative under Marape in taking back PNG and its vision on SME empowerment.
SME Owner, Popondetta