The business houses in the city of Port Moresby that were affected by the Black Wednesday riots are hoping that the government comes good soon on the relief package promised to them, now that the first parliament sitting for the year will commence tomorrow.
According to the President of the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry (POMCCI) Mr. Rio Fiocco, they are hoping that the National Executive Council (NEC) gets to approve that relief package this week when NEC meets.
However, he said this could be delayed a bit due to the parliament session and the looming Vote of No Confidence (VONC).
“The government assistance for the affected business houses will be a mixture of cash and non-cash benefits,” said the POMCCI President.
For the non- cash assistance, Mr. Fiocco said it was suggested that they will come in the form of reduction in the import tariff to support the rebuilding costs because of the import of building materials for the rebuilding phase of the destroyed properties.
Other suggestions for the non- cash assistance include early access to Foreign Currency to allow companies to restock with goods, and tax reliefs for the affected business houses.
Mr. Fiocco also said that for the cash assistance, the assistance should go into assisting the business houses pay their employees as well who were affected by the riots after the shops closed down.
Some of whom had to be placed in other branches or sections of their respective companies to work, while others are now unemployed.
Meanwhile, as another possible VONC against a sitting prime minister nears, the expectation now for the business community in Port Moresby is that this does not cloud or delay the efforts by the government to provide this much needed assistance for the affected business houses.