PM MARAPE: EMBRACE AGRICULTURE AND SMES

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP said the people should embrace the emphasis on agriculture and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the 2020 Budget.

He said today this when commenting on the 2020 Budget handed down by Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey last Thursday (28/11/19).

Agriculture and SMEs are key-ticket items in the Budget:

 

SME funding for agriculture                                          K200 million

State equity fund for agriculture                                  K20 million

Special economic zones                                                 K16 million

Tourism sector development                                         K23 million (loan K13.6 million)

Cocoa industry development                                         K7 million

Coffee industry development                                        K8 million

Fresh produce development and marketing                K7  million  (loan  K8.5  million  and grant K600, 000)

Coconut downstream processing and marketing        K9 million

Land development programme                                     K15 million

Livestock industry development                                   K5 million

Oil palm smallholder roads                                            K10 million

 

PM Marape said the Government is putting more money into previously-neglected sectors such as agriculture and SMEs.

We will be tailoring a programme, he said.

In my view, the banks should have a role to play, either NDB (National Development Bank) or BSP (Bank South Pacific), which are the banks with nationwide networks.

We want to partner with out districts and provinces, which will identify SMEs operating at their levels, especially agriculture-based SMEs.

This money is not for Prime Minister, Treasurer or Finance Minister to distribute to Open MPs.

We will go to banks.

This money will be parked in the banks, with different criteria for different SMEs.

Existing Papua New Guinea businessmen and businesswomen, who are struggling out there, can apply for assistance.

The major qualifier is that they must be tax-paying businesses. 

PM Marape said about 10 per cent of the money would be made available to Bougainville SMEs.

I have also indicated that 50 per cent will be given to businesses run by women, and the balance to businesses run by men, he said.

I stress here that this is not money which will disappear into thin air, like the infamous National Agriculture Development Plan (NADP), but which will impact on the economy.