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Thirty three constituencies to get K200, 000 each

The Department of Commerce, Trade and Economic Development is ready to roll out the K8 million constituency grants programme this year according to the Secretary Mr Alex Kerangpuna.

He said that representative groups from the thirty-three constituencies throughout the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB) can start lodging their applications for screening at the department.

A steering committee was already established and capable for screening the applications, he said.

He said that the total number of applications that the screening committee is expected to receive is thirty-three applications per constituencies.

He added that those applications should solve an urgent challenge that a constituency wanted to address quickly and encouraged for each constituency to identify a project that can be funded but at the cost of K200, 000.00.

Mr Kerangpuna said that each constituency can approach their respective members and consult with their leaders on what project is identified as a priority before lodging their applications but having in mind that each project proposals must fit the cost of K200, 000.00.

He said that the people should take ownership of identifying what project would satisfy the constituency as a whole and that the constituency members did not have control of the funds.

Mr Kerangpuna also made a call of action to the locally owned business owners to register their enterprise with the Investment Promotions Authority (IPA) office based in Bougainville.

He said that the current revenue trend had shown that majority of the enterprises were contributing to the external revenue while only a few were contributing to the internal revenue.

He said that it was important that service providers contributed to the internal revenue of the region rather than to the external revenue because the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) had direct control of its revenue generated in the region.

He urged for the service providers to understand that their contributions were adding to PNG’s revenue and not Bougainville and that they should consider changing their contributions to Bougainville.

Mr Kerangpuna added that the department was continuing its consultancy on implementing new policies and this would take a year for the officers to travel right across Bougainville to gauge the views of the rural population and conduct surveys.

This was the normal roles and responsibility of the department in implementing key projects which needed the input of the people, he said.

Meanwhile, the department is still arranging an office space for the corporate societies help desk which is set to be another pilot project this year, he said.

He said that 2023 was going to be a challenging year for the Department of Trade, Commerce and Economic Development as new policies would be created and submitted to the executive council and that support grants programme would roll out right through the year.

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