The National, Monday February 3rd, 2014
MANUS Governor Charlie Benjamin is disappointed that so much fish is taken from the province’s waters without any monetary benefit for his people.
He said this last Thursday when handing over the province’s 2014 budget of K79.845 million to Treasurer Don Polye for approval.
Benjamin was disappointed Manus was missing out on taxes from cargoes brought in from Lae and Madang for the asylum seekers.
“My internal revenue is a little over K2 million,” he told Polye. “Goods and services tax is K500,000.
“When it comes to resources, the only one we have is the sea. And as you know, all the money ends up with National Fisheries Authority.
“Provinces like Manus, which contributes maybe half of tuna that is canned in Lae and Madang, we’re getting nothing from this.
“I’d rather see this policy changed because all of these resources that belong to us are taken away to develop other provinces. How can you expect Manus to have its own internal revenue?
“I’m not happy to see the canneries in Lae and Madang when most of the fish will be coming from my waters. It just doesn’t make sense.”
Benjamin hit out at goods for the asylum seekers being brought in from Lae and Madang.
“Whatever is happening at Lombrum now, all the cargoes are brought in from Lae,” he said.
“Lae is taking all the GST.”
“We hope we can rearrange that so Manus can get something from that.
“That is a problem I’m facing.
“I think that’s a government policy that we really have to look at, if you want to see some of us not relying on handouts from the Government.
“I’m not happy to see the canneries in Lae and Madang when most of the fish will be coming from my waters.It just doesn’t make sense.”
Benjamin also hit out at goods for the asylum seekers being brought in from Lae and Madang.
“Whatever is happening at Lombrum now, all the cargoes, everything, is brought in from Lae,” he said.
“Lae more or less is taking all the GST.