Category Archives: Governance

Tariffs Counter APEC Free Trade

By : Post Courier

THE recent moves to increase more than 900 tariffs run counter to the principles of APEC, which champions free and open trade.

This is according to the Opposition, who says the O’Neill Government should review its approach to trade as a matter of urgency so that it does not contradict priority APEC resolutions.

Shadow Minister for Treasury, Ian Ling-Stuckey, said the recent senior official’s meeting in Port Moresby highlighted APEC’s support for a rules-based, free, open, fair, transparent and inclusive multilateral trading system.

“We need to be true to APEC’s mission of ‘championing free and open trade and investment, promoting and accelerating regional economic integration,” Mr Ling-Stuckey said.

“The O’Neill Government needs to urgently review its approaches to trade as the recent moves to increase more than 900 tariffs run counter to the principles of APEC.

“We do not want to come across as hypocrites as we host this meeting, otherwise that would really be wasting opportunities from what will be an expensive summit for PNG.

“We should urgently finish the proposed second stage of the Sir Nagora Tax Review, which indicated it would look at the issue of tariffs, certainly in a more systematic and efficient manner than the recent government changes.

“We should look at better policies to get per capita growth going again and ensure the benefits are spread across our rural communities, not just some isolated projects benefitting a few.

“We need to think about getting our agricultural products to the markets of all countries in APEC, not just PNG supermarkets under protectionist barriers.

“With PNG hosting the APEC Summit in November 2018, it is important that we seize its opportunities for promoting PNG and advancing our development.

“While the Alternative Government considers that there were much better ways to promote PNG and all it has to offer, and wiser ways to invest the huge costs for the summit into health, education and infrastructure, it is now too late and it would be too embarrassing to pull out from hosting the Leaders Summit.”There are some important things we need to do to make the most of this opportunity.”

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Experts Unite To Improve Health In The Region

Source: UQ News

New research partnerships tackling health challenges in the Pacific are expected to result from a unique gathering at The University of Queensland in 2018.

Hosted by UQ’s School of Public Health, the Pacific Health Governance Workshop will be the first in a series of events to address the most challenging aspects of health policy.

UQ School of Public Health researcher Dr Owen Williams said the workshop was expected to be a catalyst for joint projects in research and innovation across health, governance and development issues.

“The workshop will cover issues such as gender-based violence, pandemics, sanitation, food security and non-communicable diseases,” Dr Williams said.

“It will address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by bringing together stakeholders to develop research agendas that are Pacific-driven, respond to needs, and create strategies for joint research and action.”

Key Pacific scholars and practitioners were awarded international scholarships to attend the inaugural event, which will feature a keynote speech by Pacific Community Director General Dr Colin Tukuitonga.

Dr Tukuitonga, who has held appointments with the New Zealand government and the World Health Organisation, will discuss the Pacific Community’s role as the principal scientific and technical organisation in the region.

“This conference brings together experts from across the Pacific region’s 26 country and territory members to address issues around where the capacity and research needs are and how we can best provide research to help Pacific Health,” Dr Tukuitonga said.

The workshop is on February 15-16 at UQ’s St Lucia campus.

School Contractors Warned! – O’Neill

**** PM O’Neill: Contractors to be Held Accountable as More Schools and Classrooms Built Around Papua New Guinea ****

4th December 2017

 

With more schools and classrooms being built around the Nation, contractors will be held accountable for every Toea in public funds they are given for construction.

That is the clear message delivered by the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, when opening a new classroom building in in Kimbe, West New Britain Province.

“Continuing to improve education is our government’s commitment to our future generations.

“Better education provides the greatest hope for our children, particularly in remote and rural areas.

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“In 2018 we have allocated 1.29 billion Kina for the Education Sector, which is nearly nine per cent of National Budget. This is an increase of 13 per cent from the 2017 Supplementary Budget.

“We have placed more than an additional one million students in school over the past five years, and now we are applying additional focus on improving the quality of education.

“Now we are building more schools and classrooms right around the country.”

The Prime Minister issued a stern warning to all companies involved in the construction of school projects, that public money will be fully accounted for and documented.

“Many times the Government has given contracts to certain contractors who fail to complete their jobs and run off with payments.

“This must stop and we are looking back at previous contracts to identify any irregularities for further investigation.

 

“It is vital for our children to have proper buildings to learn, and any time there is fraud this deprives our children of their right to education.

“We also have seen a number of builders that have delivered high-quality school buildings, and their commitment and accountability is helping us to advance the Nation.”

In opening the new classroom building at the Waisisi Primary School in the Talasea District, West New Britain Province, PM O’Neill congratulated all who had worked on the project.

“As I officially open this newly built classroom building, today, I thank the school board and the builders for doing an outstanding job.”

The Prime Minister further noted the growth that was occurring in the Talasea District and said the Government has met with the Boundaries Committee and have decided that Talasea District will soon become two districts, given it’s vast population and land boundaries.

Australia ‘GIFT’ a New International Fiber Cable to PNG

1st December

The much talked about New International Fiber Cable from Port Moresby to Sydney will be a ‘GIFT’ from the Government of Australia to the people of Papua New Guinea.

Highlighted in the 2018 National Budget, the 1,800km of Fiber Cable would costs about $USD95m to build and would be in operation in 24 months.

This new Fiber Cable when in operation has the potential to lower internet costs and brings faster speed to Papua New Guinea.

The New Fiber being called as APNG3 and will carry ‘Terabytes of Capacity” can bring up to USD$500 millions annual revenue if managed properly.

Government Clamps down on Corporate Veil – Corporate Firms pays more Taxes

A look into 2018 National Budget

1st December 2017

Currently, a “corporate veil” exists which does not allow the CG to collect the income tax from the company’s holding company or related companies even if it has been distributed as a dividend or transferred as a non-monetary asset to those group holding companies.

In this Budget, the Government will remove the “corporate veil” to make the parent (holding) company and other groups of companies liable for the tax liability incurred by the subsidiary company. This will allow the CG to collect tax distributed as dividends or transferred as a non- monetary asset to other Group companies in PNG or overseas.

This measure will be revenue positive in the medium to long term and is expected to be effective 1st January 2018.

There are cases where large corporations’ profits generated from business operations in PNG pay little or no income tax with profits paid over to its holding companies largely as dividend payments. The paying of the company’s cash as dividends in conjunction with the reduction in the company’s non-cash assets leaves the IRC unable to collect any outstanding tax liabilities from the company.

These large corporations may have a large tax liability and be stripped of all assets leaving the Commissioner General (CG) unable to collect income tax assessed to the company.

NO NEW TAXES – Tax Payers Delight

30th November 2017

 

The handing down of the National Budget 2018 drew a sigh of relief for averages citizens in the country. For the first time in many years, there was NO NEW TAXES in the budget.

 

The Government has however decided to ensure that the Internal Revenue Commission goes out and does what it is required to do, COLLECT TAXES!

 

The Tax Collection has been lacking in the Commission for many years piling the pressure on the Government to increase taxes in the past. This year, that has been changed and NO new Taxes or any increase in Taxes are included in the Budget.

 

The Government has also removed the “Training Levy” which was supposed to raise K75m in the 2018 budget

Government taken measures to manage wild spendings by SOE’s

November 30, 2017

By ISAAC NICHOLAS

The Government has taken steps to centralise the budgetary process by cracking down on some public and statutory bodies collecting public monies and spend these outside of the Budget.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Treasury and Finance Charles Abel said the Government is serious about improving the fiscal health of the country and this bill is a demonstration of that serious intent.

“Public funds that are raised by public and statutory bodies as non-tax revenue rightly belong in the Consolidated Revenue Fund so that they may be appropriated for expenditure by Parliament to meet the objectives of the Government.”

Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch interjected claiming that the bill is part of the budget bills and in normal tradition this bill must be passed along with the budget.

“Why are we dealing with Budget Bills separately when the debate on the budget has been adjourned to next week Tuesday? Can we stop sneaking in stuff? We need to be able to understand the bills and it is part of the budget papers. It is attached to the budget bills.”

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had to intervene to allow Mr Abel to introduce the bill, make his speech and defer the passing to Tuesday next week.

Minister Abel then proceeded saying that for too long, it has been the practice of some public and statutory bodies to retain, without authority, this non tax revenue to meet operational and other expenditures.

“These expenditures have taken place outside the budget process and this is unacceptable to government. Some, but not all, public and statutory do have legislation in place that purportedly allows them to retain this non-profit revenue, but those provisions have always offended against the best principles of public financial management and this Bill remedies those matters.

The Bill binds all public and statutory bodies. State owned Enterprises are excluded as they are not statutory bodies.

The Bill does not apply to the Bougainville or any public or statutory body created by the Bougainville Government.

The Government has decided to explicitly exempt Kumul Consolidated Holdings, Kumul Petroleum Company and the Kumul Minerals Company from this law as fiscal arrangements to them are currently being reviewed.

https://postcourier.com.pg/govt-cracks-budget-spending-soes/

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