Rural industry welcomes budget

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 28th December 2011

THE Rural Industries Council has expressed support for the 2012 budget that was passed by Parliament last week.
Chairman Brown Bai in a statement said that the budget introduced on Dec 6 by Treasurer Don Polye and passed last Thursday reflected the commitment by the government to address fundamental issues inhabiting investment and generally PNG’s growth.
Bai said the budget correctly addressed the plight of the rural areas and the majority of the people this country.
He said the government had increased the wages tax threshold from K7,000 to K10,000.
“This exempts wage earners who earn up to K10,000 from paying tax and they will have more money to spend, hopefully on investment,” Bai said.
He said that infrastructure needed upgrading and new ones built.
“It is very good to know that the government has place infrastructure as on of the main focus of the 2012 budget.
“The current allocation for infrastructure is far less than the amount needed to rehabilitate and maintain existing infrastructure.
“However the allocation should be used as a basic for consistent medium tern nation rehabilitation and maintenance infrastructure programme”.
Bai said the tax credit scheme had proven to be a useful mechanism for providing the much needed services to rural communities and therefore the facility would embrace the public private partnership and therefore it must be actively promoted.
He said that the current level of 1.75% tax credit is too long and should be increased to 5%, at least for the agriculture sector while the mining sector also requested for the tax credit to be raised to 3%  but it is still waiting for the government’s response.
Bai said, that as a nation “we should take well calculated bold moves to assist the growth of the rural areas.
“We should all remind ourselves that the growth of our rural areas which accommodates the majority of our people depends heavily on direct government and private sector intervention and support. There is no other way. After all, this is the central theme of the Nation’s strategic Vision 2050,” Bai said.