By PETER ESILA
TOTAL royalties paid to forest landowners in 2018 was K56 million for four million cubic metres of harvest, says PNG Forest Authority acting managing-director Goodwill Amos.
He said during the leaders’ summit in Port Moresby last week that K55,596,948.50 was paid for 3,970,117.559 cubic metres of harvests.
Amos said 40 per cent of the K55,596,948.50 was paid out as royalties with the other 60 per cent allocated under the project development levy for the purpose of other infrastructure developments.
He said the logging operations were monitored 24 hours a day to ensure the operations complied with the requirements and regulatory processes, standards and practices.
“The Southern, NGI and Area West Region, although having higher production volumes, are dominated by lower-valued species,” Amos said.
“The Momase region royalty payable rates were higher, given the higher-value species, mainly in the form of Kwila.
“The industry has been a serious partner in the construction of over 2000km of roads, with major bridges built and maintenance of other basic services and infrastructure.
“There is, in fact, a need for greater collaboration with other Government departments.
“The PNGFA, in recognising this, has commenced to some degree, MOUs (memorandums-of-understanding) with the Bank of PNG financial analysis support unit and ICCC (Independent Consumer and Competition Commission) in the areas of financial crimes and legal trade.” Amos said that between 2008 and 2018, the total export volume of PNG logs reached 34 million cubic metres.
The total free-on-board (FOB) value for that volume over that same period was K9.2 billion.
“The Government, from that same volume over that same period, earned K2.67 billion through the log export tax and log export development levy.
“It is important to keep in mind that Government earnings above K2.67 billion are separate from an estimated K620 million in royalties, premiums and levy payments to landowners, K50 million in forest management levy, K20 million in provincial, district and LLG levies as well as investments in major infrastructure developments and other direct capital investments in the areas of domestic processing.
By PETER ESILA