By DALE LUMA
THE Micro, Small to Medium Enterprise (MSME) Council has called on the Government to make available the K200 million funding through the Bank of PNG and release the funding to other banks.
Council president Desmond Yaninen said a lot of small-medium businesses still could not qualify for loans under the scheme because of a lack of collateral.
Of the K200 million budgeted for SMEs in the 2020 Budget, K100 million was parked in Bank South Pacific Financial Group Ltd (BSP) and K80 million in the National Development Bank (NDB).
“We are grateful for the K200 million SME loans allocation for last year that is now sitting with the BSP and NDB,” Yaninen said.
“Unfortunately many SMEs do not qualify for loans because they do not have collateral.
“We would, therefore, like the Government to fund the Credit Guarantee Corporation under BPNG whose role is to provide guarantees for SMEs to borrow against.
“For 2021, we want the next K200 million of SME funds that were budgeted to also be released, but to also include Kina Bank and Women’s Micro Bank and MiBank.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce and Industry Minister Sam Basil said for SMEs to qualify for loans under the K200 million credit facility, they should have an existing relationship with the Internal Revenue Commission and Investment Promotion Authority.
Basil directed his department to compile a report on the disbursement of the first K200 million for 2020.
“I am unconvinced that the strategies adopted by the financial institutions tasked to disburse the first K200 million were effective with the Government’s key priority to support PNG families.”
By DALE LUMA