Bank fees killing business interests: Kapris

National, Normal

COMMERCIAL banks are killing the interest of small businesses in making savings with 2% cash handling fees, Commerce and Industry Minister Gabriel Kapris told Parliament yesterday.
He said the culture of savings by the small people was not there anymore.
Mr Kapris said the Government, with the assistance from the World Bank, was putting together a strategy that would see the Government providing guarantee for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to ease pressure on the banks to charge fees.
He was responding to a series of questions from Moresby Northeast MP Andrew Mald who claimed that the 2% cash handling fee imposed on K5,000 or more is broad daylight robbery, especially on the small people.
Mr Mald said a buai seller who wants to send her child to the best school saves K12,000 for school fees will lose K200 to the bank.
He also raised questions that local vegetable producers must be involved in spin-offs from the LNG project and suggested introducing a bill to stop all imported vegetables.
He also called on the Government to establish food markets in major centres for producers to supply their vegetables.
Mr Mald also raised concerns about the second hand clothes market and whether they have gone through quarantine and health checks.
Mr Kapris said he would initiate a study to find out whether PNG farmers had the capability to meet the current demand.
He also said that there was a potential and the Government, for the first time, had allocated funding to the Small Business Development Corporation.
On the second hand clothing issue, Mr Kapris said the country imported around K170 million worth of clothing every year and second hand clothing alone was K60 million.