PORT MORESBY: Opposition Leader Don Pomb Polye has expressed serious concerns over the Investment Promotion Authority’s announcement on the new fees for company registration and annual returns this year.
Commending the IPA board and the management on the recent upgrade of its online system to allow easy registration and submission, Mr Polye said the fees were ‘too excessive for most of our struggling SMEs in the country.’
“The fee structure is outrageous and is undermining IPA’s primary role to promote investments and businesses in the country.
“The increase for late annual returns from K150 to K500 and K1000 after one month is outrageous. It is about 200 per cent increases!” said an irked Polye.
The Opposition Leader said this action was in direct contradiction to the governments drive to grow the SME sector in the country.
“Our alternative government will be looking at lowing the cost of businesses in the country and encourage local businesses to flourish when in power,” said a worried Polye.
He said he was also concerned that such restrictive actions might regress local participation.
“Though the intent of this move may be justifiable, there are other suitable actions that IPA may undertake to raise revenue for its operation and not implement measures that will stifle local businesses.
He said IPA seemed forget its core business of supporting investment growth in the country here as it was not a profit-oriented organisation.
He added that many SMEs and entrepreneurs operating in the country had limited finances and struggled to ensure the survival of their operations.
Polye called on IPA to promote a sustainable and inclusive strategy to support indigenous SME growth within the country.
“SMEs need guidance and training to fulfil the necessary requirements set by IPA and thus, it is important that IPA has easily accessible centres throughout the country to assist the SMEs of which some are operated by our rural entrepreneurs” said Polye.
He further said most SMEs had limited online presence and that they would be heavily affected, adding the costs may considerably increase as service providers in outer centres increase their services.
“I urge the Registrar through the board to review the fees specifically in the interest of promoting indigenous investment because I believe that the fees are too costly and will be a burden to many SMEs as it a deterrent to local business growth,” said the Opposition leader.
“IPA must justify this outrageous increase”, said Polye.