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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Embarking on initiatives to improve forestry

Source: The National, Wednesday September 10th, 2014
THE Forest Ministry is embarking on new initiatives to improve the industry including the equal participation of resource owners at the decision making level. “A review of the Forestry Act 1991 and the accompanying regulations to further strengthen the forestry laws and consolidate the various amendments to the legislations to date and to allow for better representation of the forest resource owners on the National Forest Board,” Minister Douglas Tomuriesa said in Parliament last week. “A review of all logging and marketing agreements to ensure that all project developers honour their obligations to the resource owners and the State,” he said. Tomuriesa said he planned to establish an association that was equivalent to the Forest Industry Association to represent the forest resource owners’ interests throughout the country. He added that a mechanism would be created to counter transfer pricing in the industry. “Despite being outlawed by the Forest Act, there is anecdotal evidence that transfer pricing is rife in the forest industry in PNG. We do not know whether we are taxing the industry enough,” he said. “An option open to the Government is to establish a state marketing agency to guard against the practice of transfer pricing in the industry.”

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