PM keen to assist locals in business

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PRIME Minister James Marape wants to see an annual intervention programme over the next 10 years to assist locals in business.
During a visit to the National Development Bank (NDB) in Port Moresby yesterday, Marape said K100 million would be made available as loan to businesses.
The bank is introducing the Start Up and Grower loans for the agriculture and small to medium enterprise (SME) sectors.
“We want to assist the bank in creating soft loan programmes to encourage more Papua New Guineans to get into business activities,” Marape said
NDB chairman Michael Mell said there was a need to properly define SME so that clear policies could be directed towards SME businesses.
“The bank currently charges 6.5 per cent across the board for all loans. Thus the margins are too low to sustain the bank’s operations.
“But we should be able to put in policies and strategies to align with the Government’s policies and aspirations to mitigate these issues once we clearly define SME.”
NDB managing director Moses Liu said the three programmes already in place were agriculture loans, small business loans, and women in business loans.
“With the new products, loans up to K100,000 can be granted with adjusted rates and conditions to sustain businesses in the agriculture and SME sectors,” he said.
“We will wait for the funding arrangements in the 2020 budget and then we will be able to commercialise the bank.”