PM to probe NDB K80 million SME funds

A PROBE will be established this week into the non-lending of K80 million by the National Development Bank (NDB) to Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Prime Minister James Marape told a recent meeting when addressing cabinet ministers, heads of departments, senior public servants and development partners of his government’s achievement since taking office two years ago.

“My government has launched a K200 million fund to support loans to SMEs through NDB and BSP. I’m surprised, part of that funding (K80 million) given to NDB has not been utilized and I will have to investigate why there was nothing done.

“As you know the focus of my government has always been to grow the economy through agriculture, small and medium enterprises and economic infrastructure development. Such bottlenecks cannot be tolerated and I will find out why,” Marape said.

Earlier on PNG SME Council president Des Yaninen also queried when the K80 million would be utilized for MSMEs and SMEs because the target set by the NDB for the first quarter has lapsed.

“I appeal to our Prime Minister to ask NDB and DCI to tell us what is happening.

“We deserve to know where our funds are.”

The national government in September, 2020 through the leadership of former Commerce and Industry Minister William Duma announced the K200 million bailout package to rescue small businesses keep their heads above water in this Covid-19 induced economic hardship.

From the K200 million, K100 million was given to Bank South Pacific (BSP) and K80 million to NDB to lend out to small businesses. The balance of K20 million was set to help business recovery efforts in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Posted in: Papua New Guinea

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