Papua New Guinea's Huon Gulf in Morobe province has become the first district in the country to set up a commercial lending programme in partnership with the Nation Wide Micro bank for its community.
The programme will enable Huon Gulf people to access a lenient and flexible lending service.
The district's planning committee has provided 177- thousand US dollars to the NWM to facilitate and carry out the programme.
The paper, the National, says the arrangement was made possible after a memorandum of understanding was signed in Lae this week.
NWM chief executive officer, Lionel Somaratne, says under the scheme, the bank had reduced the interest rate to 1.5% from the normal micro finance interest rate of 3%, and had also dropped the 30% savings deposit for a loan to 20% .
Mr Somaratne says the benefit of the programme would depend on the recovery of the loans that would enable the bank to re-lend the funds to more borrowers.