By MALUM NALU
The revived Stret Pasin Stoa scheme has attracted massive public interest, according to the National Development Bank.
The NDB’s relationship manager – commercial banking, Robert Thadeus, said yesterday that over 4,000 married couples from all over PNG had applied to NDB to participate in the Stret Pasin Stoa scheme it reintroduced this year.
This is where a husband and wife team manage a shop (mini-supermarket) built by NDB and later own it after NDB has recovered its cost.
“We started advertising for expressions of interest at the beginning of February,” Thadeus said.
“At the close of business on Wednesday this week, we received over 4,000 applications from all over the country.
“We’ve closed applications and we are now into screening and processing.
“The response has been overwhelming.
“It’s beyond what we expected.”
NDB managing director, Richard Maru, said it would easily cost up to K100 million to bankroll up to 1,000 applicants under the scheme and urged the government to take this into consideration.
“Successful applicants will be provided 100% funding to acquire and start their own businesses similar to the very-successful Stret Pasin Stoa scheme run by our forerunner, the Agriculture Bank,” he said.
“The future of the 4,000 applicants will depend on the O’Neill/Namah government providing funding to bankroll the scheme, and bring back the reserved activity legislation to restrict foreigners from running retail shops and kai bars in PNG.”
“Now that we know the level of interest, we will prepare a submission to the government to provide seed funding to start the scheme, and reintroduce the reserved activity list legislation for citizens to take back and run all trade stores, kai bars and similar business in the country.”
Maru commended Minister for Trade and Industry, Charles Abel, for making a commitment to bring back the reserved activity legislation, which would lawfully disallow foreigners from engaging in retails shops and kai bar business.