No ‘super tax’ until July

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Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Rainbo Paita attended Parliament yesterday dressed in traditional attire. Paita, who is the Government Business leader, told The National that the Budget was passed by voice. – Picture supplied

PRIME Minister James Marape says the Government’s proposed super levy or tax on two “dominant industry players” – Bank South Pacific Financial Group Ltd (BSP) and Digicel – will not be implemented until the mid-year review in July (or after General Election 2022).
“We took heed of calls that they might go broke. Treasury called for consultation two years ago,” Marape told Parliament in Budget 2022 debate yesterday.
“Taking K190 million from BSP and K95 million from Digicel could cause them to go broke.
“We will defer implementation (of the super tax) to after July. For those who smoke and drink, we have not increased excise duty. For all workers, we have not increased your taxes, for all businesses we have not charged additional tax, except BSP and Digicel which I committed to hold back implementation until the mid-year review,” he said.
The Opposition slammed Budget 2022, describing it as unrealistic and some budget promises that were unachievable. Shadow Treasurer Joseph Lelang said the budget lacked transparency, with a lot of the funds centralised and kept in Waigani, Port Moresby.
“Very little is going out to the provinces and to support other important functions of Government,” he added. Government Business Leader MP Rainbo Paita told
The National that the budget was passed by voice.
“Parliament will resume today as we still have some papers, legislations, amendments and a couple of Government business in the notice paper, including ministerial statements,” Paita said.
“As soon as that is done tomorrow, we might rise on Thursday.”
Marape said: “This is a milestone budget because it is the first budget to hit K20 billion. For the first time since 1975, our economy will surpass the K100 billion economic threshold.
“Three years ago, in my maiden speech in Parliament as Prime Minister, I said we will be the richest black Christian nation and in 10 years we will be a K200 billion economy.”