By ANDREW ALPHONSE in TARI
THE National Development Bank (NDB) has revealed plans to set up a branch in Tari, Southern Highlands province, targeting the US$15 billion (K40 billion) PNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.
This branch will be to assist local Hela people re-invest income from the project into small business enterprises and agricultural projects.
NDB hopes that more Hela farmers and business people would obtain loans to start businesses from the K20 million allocated in this year’s National Budget.
NDB will also consider providing other services there, such as passbook savings account and micro finance.
NDB will initially start its operations in the next eight weeks at the Tari town authority building while awaiting the National Executive Council’s (NEC) approval on, and construction, of the K5 million two-storey office complex.
The plan was revealed on Monday by NDB managing director Richard Maru while in the company of Tari/Pori MP and Education Minister James Marape, and other senior NDB officers when they visited Tari.
They also assessed the site for the office complex and also announce the plan.
Mr Maru said the NDB Board had decided to close the Mendi branch last December to set up a Tari branch.
He said the Mendi office was shut down due to constant attack on its staff, properties and the continued lawlessness which greatly affected their operations.