MPs to support ‘reserved business’

Business, Normal

The National, Thursday February 27th, 2014

 MEMBERS of parliament have given overwhelming support to the move of the government to bring back the list of businesses that should be exclusively owned and operated by Papua New Guineans.

The Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry under the direction of Minister Richard Maru was doing the finishing touches on the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) policy and master plan.

The consultation committee recently presented the draft document to MPs.

Western Highlands Governor Paias Wingti said small businesses should be wholly-owned and run by Papua New Guineans. 

“I think we have to go back and make sure that businesses like trade stores, food bars, service stations are wholly-owned by people. 

Wingti raised a concern that when local businesses made money, they tended to spend it in the country.

On the other hand, foreign owned companies send their profits to mother companies overseas.

Southern Highlands Governor William Powi, while sharing similar sentiments, had encouraged the government to support local businesses.

“Bring back the reserve list so our people would not resort to peddling Coca-Cola and engaging in other informal business. 

“We don’t need to get wider consultation, we need to make a drastic decision now  …  we need to get this in order: first, bring about the reserve list.” 

West New Britain Governor Sasindran Muthuvel said: “We should bring back the reserved list.” 

He said at the moment, Papua New Guineans were given an “unequal playing field” when they competed in the small business category.

A recent survey had disclosed that only 10% of businesses in the country are owned by Papua New Guineans.

The rest, which are multi-million concern, are in the hands of foreigners.