Almost 500 SME loans approved but nil cash

The minister championing the drive to build small to medium enterprises in Papua New Guinea says the National Development Bank does not fall under his watch.

Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru was responding to media questions regarding the current plight of the state owned bank being unable to fund 498 SME business loans because it is underfunded.

“The 498 approved SME loans approved for payment is valued at K53 million.”

“It’s a serious issue but it’s subject to cash flow,” Maru said Friday.”  

According to NDB managing director Moses Liu “the government was to provide NDB K100 million annually to implement this policy.”

He said only K140 million was allocated from 2013 to 2015 instead of K300 million.

“The government has underfunded NDB by K160 million to date,” he told LOOP.

 “It is now August and the government has not released the K50 million appropriated in the 2015 national budget.”

Maru said, “I am not minister (responsible) for NDB, its Tommy Tomscoll (Agriculture and Livestock minister.)”

“But the SME policy comes under my ministry, which is a key priority for the government.” 

Charles Yapumi