Commercial banks operating in Papua New Guinea have given at least K300 million (AU$144 million) in available credit, since 2000, to the country’s five largest exporters of tropical logs, a new report by Act Now! and Jubilee Australia Research Centre has revealed.
The Prime Minister must extend the government's ban on new logging permits to cover all types of logging consent in order for it to be effective, says community advocacy group ACT NOW.
The PM last week directed the PNG Forest Authority to stop issuing new permits and permit extensions so the government can meet its deadline of 2025 for an end to the export of unprocessed raw logs.
Community advocacy group ACT NOW is calling on the government to immediately publish the Auditor General’s report on spending for the 2018 APEC Summit.
“The government has repeatedly promised that the APEC Audit report will be made public but it is now almost three-years since the Summit and we are still waiting”, says Campaign Manager, Eddie Tanago.
According to the Auditor General, his report was given to the Speaker of Parliament in April, but has yet to be presented to MPs.
The Forest Authority must stop aiding and abetting logging companies identified by the IRC as defrauding the State and landowners by evading taxes, says community advocacy group ACT NOW!
“If logging companies are unlawfully evading taxes then the Forest Authority and the Minister must act to stop these companies accessing even more areas of forest to feed their criminal activities” says Campaign Manager, Eddie Tanago.
The latest scandal over catering services at the Rita Flynn Isolation Centre, highlights the government’s broken promises to publish previous audit reports and break the cycle of impunity enjoyed by senior bureaucrats, says community advocacy group ACT NOW!
The increase in duty on round log exports, introduced in the 2020 budget, is having a positive effect according to analysis conducted by the community advocacy group ACT NOW!
“The higher export duty has both increased government revenue and driven down the level of logs exports in line with government policy” says Campaign Manager Eddie Tanago.
Papua New Guinea’s international corruption rating has slipped a further one-point, from 28 to 27, in the latest figures released by Transparency International.
This is bad news for the economy and a sad reflection on the state of our democracy says ACT NOW! campaign manager Eddie Tanago.
Community advocacy group ACT NOW! is cautiously welcoming the government's announcement it is going to investigate public servants who are living extravagant lifestyles beyond what they should be able to afford on the salaries they are paid, but warns the Prime Minister he will be judged on the results rather than his promises.
The passage of the law allowing for the creation of an Independent Commission Against Corruption has been hailed as an important step forward by community advocacy group ACT NOW! but the group is warning that it is too early for any celebrations.
"An independent commission is urgently needed to tackle the rampant corruption that is holding back our economy and stopping the delivery of vital health and other services to the people”, says Campaign Manager Eddie Tanago.
With the release of a new report today, ACT NOW!, Jubilee Australia, and the Oakland Institute, call for an urgent change of course from political leaders in Papua New Guinea. The report, From Extraction to Inclusion, analyses the country’s economic and development performance since its independence in 1975.