New Ireland ready to take on roles played by IRC

National, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 19, 2011

THE New Ireland provincial government is keen on acquiring some functions of the provincial Internal Revenue Commission to effectively regulate and monitor businesses operating in the province, an official said.
New Ireland autonomy committee coordinator Ricky Fugunto said legal and illegal businesses were booming and the IRC was “simply turning a blind eye on them”.
He said the provincial IRC office was “just sitting and waiting for existing or intending companies to make submissions and not going out and doing physical inspections”.
Fugunto said the provincial government aimed to transfer functions of IRC on GST issues to the provincial level and, by doing so, the provincial government would retain 60% of IRC fees collected while 40% would be remitted to the IRC main office.
He said amendments to legislations were in progress and would be submitted to the provincial executive council on May 24 for endorsement.
Fugunto said the provincial government was waiting for that endorsement to further advice relevant authorities in Port Moresby to proceed with initial steps of acquiring the functions of IRC.
The autonomy committee has engaged the services of two legal consultants to refurbish and draft legislations and policies of the mining sector and of the provincial laws in its continuous drive towards autonomy.
He said land function policies were to be legislated, especially with the increase in non-transparent land deals taking place.
Fugunto said the draft legislation needed more consultation before submitting for endorsement.
 “People have to understand, we are not breaking away from the national government but we want to derive powers from the national to the provincial level for greater benefit,” Fugunto said.