By DALE LUMA
PAPUA New Guinea Forest Authority (PNGFA) managing director Tunou Sabuin says the authority is looking at reviewing the new government tax regime on round log exports.
Sabuin said during the handover ceremony of the outgoing Forestry Minister Solan Mirisim and incoming Minister Walter Schnaubelt that it wanted the Government to consider reducing the tax on round logs from 50.2 per cent back to 28.5 per cent.
He said a submission would be made for Government to consider.
Sabuin said he hoped that together with Schnaubelt, outstanding matters could be addressed.
“We have to look at reviewing the new tax regime that the Government has imposed,” Sabuin said.
“We are putting a submission and it will go before National Executive Council for consideration.
“This is to reduce the log export back to 28.5 per cent or 30.5 per cent and giving us time to look at reviewing the new tax regime in consultation with other partners that we have in the country.”
Sabuin said the other outstanding agenda was the state purchase option on logs.
Sabuin said the challenge was the PNGFA approved 10-year corporate plan (2020 to 2030).
This includes the approval of a restructure to hire another 300-plus staff on top of the current maximum of 600.
Meanwhile, Mirisim said the forestry sector could contribute K500mil to K600mil annually to Government revenue.
He said last year had been difficult for the sector with the Covid-19 pandemic affecting world market prices and the log export tax impacting performance.
Mirisim said the achievements of the ministry are:
- Downstream processing;
- Reforestation and afforestation;
- Timber legality standard; and,
- Logging code of practice.