Log export development levies ‘set for distribution’


LOG export development levies collected by Customs are in a trust account ready to be distributed to beneficiaries, Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa says.
He told Parliament that the levies (LEDL) for last year had gone through the Public Monies Management Regulation Act process by the Department of Finance and Treasury and now back in the trust account set for distribution.
He said the beneficiaries and their percentage had been calculated and approved by the LEDL committee.
The minister said the district that had not received their share of the LEDL would receive their funds this week while those that received them earlier but had not submitted their acquittals to submit them to receive their shares.
Tomuriesa said he would table the management levy Bill to be presented to Parliament this week.
He said the Bill would look at the arrangement they had with additional levies like social levies, church levies, and health and education levies that were tied up with royalties that went to landowners.
The minister said the Bill would look at making a clear demarcation between royalties and additional levies so that landowners only received their royalties while the addition levies went to the provincial government to manage funds and initiate development in the logging areas.
The minister said that for more than 40 years nothing had been done to regulate downstream processing of log in the country although it was the way forward for PNG.