Government’s role is to support, not run businesses: Abel


DEPUTY Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel says the role of government is to create an enabling and supportive environment for businesses to flourish which in turn will generate wealth and employment.
Abel told the national agriculture summit that the Government must stay away from businesses and let the commercial sector drive it.
“Let’s provide capital and equity where necessary, not because we want to be involved in management, but to catalyse in some of these projects,” he said.
“The LR Group is providing some examples of that – a company willing to go into Hela, Southern Highlands and Enga to produce vegetables and poultry and potatoes and engage small-holders.
“We want to do it in rice production in terms of import replacement.
“We have the capital available there for the right people who are committed, and we’ve got the right people sitting here in this room.”
Abel said the Government would provide capital to catalyse that process, provide some sort of surety and other supporting requirements through land and regulations to support that process.
“Part of the 1000-day process was to revisit the issues because many of them – law and order, transport, energy costs and irrigation costs – are not new,” he said.
“Government must listen and respond. Some of the measures we want to take through the 100-day plan and more importantly how we continue to grow those measures beyond that.”