Govt all for downstream processing

National, Normal

The National, Friday February 21st, 2014

 THE Government is now looking at ways of encouraging downstream processing and manufacturing of resources in the country. 

Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru told Parliament yesterday that he had discussedthe issue with Treasury Minister Don Polye and would be making a submission to the Tax Review Committee to introduce export tax.  Maru said the proposed export tax would cover palm oil, fisheries and other raw material that were sold from PNG. 

He said his intention was to see that companies involved in extracting raw materials would also build their refineries here in PNG. 

He said he would be bringing to the National Executive Council a paper to look at downstream processing. 

Maru said that in response to a question from Daulo MP Ron Ganarafo as to why companies such as New Britain Palm Oil could not build their refineries in PNG instead of sending the raw material overseas to be processed. 

“One reason why I stopped this company (New Britain Palm Oil) to allow foreigners from buying shares is that currently PNG shareholding is at 18% only and the bulk of this company is owned by our friends from Malaysia,” he said.