Women’s forum looks at growing informal sector


THE Department for Community Development and Religion is ready to help grow the informal economy by passing the Informal Economy Policy and Act, an official says.
The department’s informal economy secretary Steven James revealed this during the PNG Women’s Forum for the Highlands region last week in Goroka, Eastern Highlands.
He said the Government has been concentrating only on 15 per cent of the country’s population in the formal economy while the other 75 per cent in the informal economy which comprised
mostly of women was being neglected.
“The Informal Economy Policy and Act, both have been reviewed after consultations with the responsible government agencies and partners, with the policy to be ready in March this year and the act, called the National Informal Sector Development and Control Act, is also ready to be submitted to Parliament this year.”
James said the policy and act was endorsed and passed to help protect and improve the informal sector so that there was equal distribution of wealth.
“Our mothers in the rural and urban areas are seen selling their goods under makeshift shelters, umbrellas or even on the ground without proper shelter, toilet facilities and water and sanitation.
“That is why the introduction of this policy and act is all about serving the interest of the informal economy vendors or participants.”
He said in 2013 a strategy on financial inclusion was launched and provided awareness and trainings to the informal economy participants both in urban and rural areas and it also provided them assistance through loans to increase their capacity to grow their small businesses.