The forestry sector has warned the government that export tax measures imposed in the 2020 Budget will force them to shut down their operations nationwide starting this month. And the big losers will be landowners in rural areas where the industry operates. They said their Industry was the only one in PNG that was taxed on turnovers and not profit. The 24 members of the Forest Industry Association had called on the government to urgently and immediately review, revoke and delay the imposition of these crippling new tax rates both to avoid the looming industry shut down and its inevitable consequences.
Opposition leader Belden Namah has called on Prime Minister James Marape to review additional taxes imposed on the forest industry in the 2020 national budget. Mr Namah said the forest industry has been a substantial contributor over the years to the economy, contributing no less than 10 per cent of the GDP. Shutdown and termination of the forest industry will be a disaster.
The government is serious about developing coffee, says Daulo MP Pogio Ghate. Mr Ghate, who is the Vice-Minister for Agriculture in charge of coffee, said coffee was one of the leading cash crops and could generate a lot of money if harnessed and developed well. “The government has seen the potential coffee has in generating massive income for the country, therefore, it has created a ministry for it,” he said. He said China is one of their country’s largest coffee consumers.