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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rimbunan Hijau’s Financial & Economic Contribution to PNG

Presentation of Hospital cupboard to the Port Moresby General Hospital Children's Ward. Since the company’s entry into Papua New Guinea in 1989, it has significantly participated and contributed to the economic and social development of the nation. As a market leader in the forest industry it has diversified into media, travel, IT property development, retail and other business interests. Since then and from 1993 up to 2006 it is one of the major contributors to the financial and economic well being of Papua New Guinea. The landowners, the government and most importantly employees were the major beneficiaries of Rimbunan Hijau presence in the nation since then. The above benefited from royalties, premiums, levies, export duties, corporate tax, salary, wages, infrastructure contributions and National Superannua tion Fund (Nasfund) payments totaling K1.19 billion. Since its establishment, the total capital expenditures for forestry are K 300 million, K120 million for wood processing, K35 million for transport, K30 million for property development and K15 million for other services and in all a total capital investments in the country from 1993 up to 2006 was K 500 million. Rimbunan Hijau has been a significant contributor to wages to the economy and it has contributed more than K160 million. In 2006 alone a total of 22.5 million was paid. Since 1991, there has been a steady increase in line with increased capital investment. Through premiums, levies, export duties on logs RH makes direct tax contributions to the economy of the country. Since 1993, the companies premiums and levies contribution was K 157.3 million and its total export duty was K 624 million and the total corporate tax amounted to K 31.3 million. In 2006 the Group’s tax contribution was more than K 85 million with K 56 million in export duty, K 21.5 million in contributions and levies and K 7.5 million in group taxes. Royalty payment by Rimbunan Hijau to landowners since 1993 calculated at K 10 per cubic metres is K 122.7 million. The company has spent more than K 27 million on infrastructure which includes schools, health centres, churches and other social infrastructure excluding roads in its area of operations. It constructed more than 130 health centres, aid posts, schools and churches The absence of government social services and basic infrastructure in rural and remote areas increases the importance of the services and infrastructure the company provides. It has constructed roads, and built culverts, airstrips, bridges, jetties and even provided water tanks, school building and supplies and others like markets, grand stands, churches and sporting facilities. The Group employs 5, 300 people through out its various businesses mostly in the forest sector and downstream processing. In 2006 total wages paid was more than K22.5 million, an average of K4245 per annum. The company also implement training programs to its staff like “on the job” approach. In addition to its contributions to the economic well being of Papua New Guinea, it also donates to charity groups, schools, community and landowner groups, hospitals and others. It has supported the Operation Open Heart over the years and now a platinum sponsor of BAHA (Business Coalition against HIV/AIDS). In has contributed more than K 600,000 while other times like machinery, livestock and equipments were also donated by the company. All in all, Rimbunan Hijau has a long term business commitment and plan that go beyond forestry.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

AROUND PAPUA NEW GUINEA: INSIDE MALAYSIA’S SHADOW STATE

http://www.globalwitness.org/insideshadowstate/index.html

INSIDE MALAYSIA’S SHADOW STATE

WHAT IS THIS FILM ABOUT? This investigation provides undercover footage of the corruption and illegality at the heart of governance in Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state, on the island of Borneo. For over thirty years, Sarawak has been governed by Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who controls all land classification, forestry and plantation licenses in the state. Under his tenure, Sarawak has experienced some of the most intense rates of logging seen anywhere in the world. The state now has less than five per cent of its forests left in a pristine condition, unaffected by logging or plantations and continues to export more tropical logs than South America and Africa combined. The film reveals for the first time the instruments used by the ruling Taib family and its lawyers to skirt Malaysia’s laws and taxes. It shows how they cream off huge profits at the expense of indigenous people, and hide their dirty money in Singapore. Taib and the local lawyers we approached denied Global Witness’s allegations of corruption. A summary of their responses is included at the end of the film. HOW DOES CORRUPTION AFFECT SARAWAK’S PEOPLE? Corruption is destroying the fabric of Sarawak’s society and squandering the state’s natural resources. The region’s indigenous people have borne the brunt of this. Ancestral land to which they have claims has been routinely licensed for logging and plantations, badly damaging their livelihoods and violating their rights under Sarawak and Malaysian law. This has trapped many communities in a cycle of poverty and dependency. Moreover, corruption affects the future well-being of all Malaysian citizens. This investigation demonstrates how money that should be driving development is being lost to corruption and hidden in secrecy jurisdictions overseas. Malaysia is thought to be the world’s third largest source of such illicit financial flows, which lost the country an estimated US$285 billion (RM863 billion), or over US$43,000 (RM130,000) perhousehold between 2001 and 2010. This is money that could have been spent on improving key services and quality of life for ordinary Malaysians. IS THIS A WIDER PROBLEM THAN SARAWAK? The timber rush which occurred during Taib’s three decades in office has spawned some of the world’s largest logging companies. These companies have had a catastrophic effect on forests and indigenous communities in almost every major tropical forested region in the world, and are regularly implicated in major illegal logging scandals. Global Witness’ analysis shows that Sarawak’s logging companies are currently logging or converting forests to plantations in at least 12 countries. Their operations cover an area of 18 million hectares worldwide, an area roughly three times the landmass of Norway. http://www.globalwitness.org/insideshadowstate/index.html