Govt must pay debts

National, Normal


THE East New Britain Chamber of Commerce and Industry has made its stand to enter the battle on the National Government’s outstanding debts to the province.
The chamber, being the principal advocate for the commercial sectors of ENB, has taken up the case of non-payment of millions of kina for goods and services rendered during the Benefit Sharing Agreement forum held in the province this year.
Acting president of the chamber, Tim Wilson, of the Rabaul Travelodge, said he and members of the Chamber were appalled at the off-handed way the Government had effectively crippled businesses in ENB, by not paying their accounts.
He said the inconsiderate manner in which this had happened was disgraceful.
The chamber supported comments made by the mayor of Rabaul, Changol Manuai, who said  small businesses were facing grave difficulties in paying their suppliers.
Mr Wilson said there was a domino effect with this as the process moved from wholesalers to retailers and service suppliers.
He said the economy was based on the trust of consumers to pay for the goods and services they received and the law of contract had been ignored by the failure of the Government to pay its debts.
He said the legal advice suggesting no debts would be honoured after six months had transpired and would be taken up in earnest by the ENB chamber as it had no factual basis.
The chamber has called on the Government and the local MPs to ensure  that arrangements  for immediate payment are made .