Helas get K300,000 to start small businesses

National, Normal


A CHEQUE for K300,000 was presented to the National Development Bank as seed money to assist people from the Hela region in Southern Highlands start small businesses.
Tari-Pori MP James Marape last Friday presented the cheque to NDB managing director Richard Maru.
There is an ongoing commitment by Marape to provide microeconomic incentives for the people of Tari and Hela.
The leader said not all people of Hela were resource owners and, as such, would not directly benefit from the proceeds of the LNG project.
“For the non-landowners, especially more than 80,000 people from my electorate, I have set up a youth programme (with funding) to improve their living standards and cut down on law and order problems,” Marape said.
He commended NDB for relocating its office from Mendi to Tari, saying it was timely as Tari and the new Hela province would serve as the hub of the multi-million-kina LNG project when it comes into full swing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
He also stressed that the exercise was not a one-off thing but an ongoing activity that would continue for some time. 
Maru, when receiving the cheque, assured the minister of the bank’s support.
“NDB has completed work on its new office, however, we cannot start operations due to the non-availability of electricity in the office,” Maru said.
“Using the K300,000 security deposit we have been provided today, we will start a micro credit scheme where informal groups can access loans to start and expand their small businesses,” he said.