Governor: Poor laws crippling economy

National, Normal

The National, Friday 31st May 2013

 PAPUA New Guinea’s economy is under threat as poor banking laws have allowed so much money to be taken out of the country, Parliament has been told.

“So much money has been transferred out of the country to invest outside the country putting more strain on the cash flow and economy of our country,” Northern Governor Gary Juffa said during the grievance debate on Tuesday. 

The former head of PNG Customs Office said many companies, both national and foreign, did not fully comply with and adhere to the taxation laws.

Juffa said the Internal Revenue Commission’s strategy of self assessment or “voluntary come and pay” taxes did not help the economy.

He added that the backbone of growth and progress depended on effective revenue collection, which was currently lacking.

“We have lots of money that can help build our economy and improve the lives of the people but we lack effective tax collection,” he said. 

“We need to protect our economy by collecting revenues effectively. The audit regime has been done away with and therefore you find that almost hundreds of the foreign owned companies have not been paying their taxes.”

The governor also said PNG needed to develop its own resources rather than allow foreigners to continue exploiting it.

“Our laws, particularly the resource laws, do not help our people and the immediate landowners.”