The government has announced the logging industry will be forced to pay more tax through increases to the log export duty.
This comes after a damning report from the Oakland Institute that revealed logging companies are evading corporate taxes by failing to declare any profits year after year and under-declaring log export values.
In response to the report, ACT NOW! lobbied both the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Commission and launched an online petition calling on the government to take action.
The tax increase has been described as a big win for the people by John Numapo, one of the Commissioners in the SABL Commission of Inquiry.
The government has also announced a new task force and K10 million in extra funding for the Internal Revenue Commission to track down companies that are not paying tax.
Treasurer's 2017 Budget Speech:
Increased Benefits from Unprocessed Logs through a Progressive Export Duty
The 2017 Budget will reintroduce the progressive log export tax on unprocessed old-growth logs to capture the resource rent of varying log species. This means that logs will now be taxed according to their species value. The progressive log export will enable Papua New Guinea to receive a fair share from exploitation of old-growth logs.
Mr. Speaker, the progressive log export tax is a deliberate policy measure. International commentators have confirmed that the volume of logs leaving our shores is not matching the benefits that should be received. The progressive tax should encourage the establishment of downstream processing facilities and for additional spin-off economic activities.