Speaking at the launch of the Draft Report on Terms of Reference No. 8 – “Review of the Laws on the Development and Control of the Informal Economy” today at the University of Papua New Guinea, CLRC Commissioner Professor Mange Matui said the CLRC had tried to make this review a consultative one.
“Since we acknowledge that the informal economy is an equal partner of the formal economy forming the integral economic system of Papua New Guinea; it needs some recognition,” he said.
He said most of the recommendations found in this Draft Report are a result of the many submissions that they received from various stakeholders.
“But if we give them too much freedom, we are bound to have more problems.
“I said the informal economy in simple, refers to a mother selling peanuts by the roadside; but it also refers to someone selling a kitchen knife or petrol on the road side.
“These are obviously dangerous items. They must be properly regulated.”
Prof Matui said informal vendors are fully aware of their rights to conduct businesses, but have not been playing their part in ensuring that they do so in a safe and healthy environment; or were failing their responsibilities.
“This is done either on purpose or out of ignorance. In the review, we continue to safeguard the interests of the informal economy participants; but have also imposed greater responsibilities on them to encourage them to take ownership and conduct their businesses in a more responsible manner.”
He said the informal economy is very broad, ranging from a simple villager selling his/her garden produce in a rural setting; as well as a street vendor selling cooked food or CDs in the streets of Port Moresby.
“The proposals in this review are not the only solutions to promote the informal economy.
“There is so much more that needs to be done. Provincial and Local-level Governments must be able to deliver basic services most needed in the rural places.