By JAMES APA GUMUNO
MANY locally-owned business houses in Mt Hagen are not registered with the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA).
These business houses never paid taxes and operate illegally at the back of some genuine and well established business houses.
Mt Hagen City Authority and Western Highlands provincial administration are now looking into the issue to ensure that all business houses are registered with IPA and must have certificate of compliance with Internal Revenue Commission (IRC).
Provincial administrator, Malcolm Culligan, in his public notice circulated to business houses dated last Nov 12, said all business houses, business group or association must have a name.
Mr Culligan said if a company wanted to supply any goods and provide service on credit to the provincial government or its agent, it must seek an authorisation or written approval letter from him.
“The notice is aimed at corporate clients and small entrepreneurs like hire car companies, stationary shops, computer suppliers, hotels, guest houses, workshops, fuel companies and individuals who operate their businesses under their own names,” he said.
Acting city manager Victor Megao, in expressing the same sentiments, said all business houses must pay land tax, trading licence, sanitation and garbage fees to the city authority.
He urged all business houses to keep their work stations and building clean and re-paint their buildings.
“They must also be seen contributing to the development of the city,” he said.
Mr Megao said locallyowned business houses owed the city authority more than K1.2 million in taxes and fees, with some failing to settle their bills for more than eight years.
“It’s a shame that these defaulting business owners roam about in fancy cars without contributing to the city’s development,” he added.