PNG FOREST INDUSTRY WARNS OF JOB LOSSES BECAUSE OF LOG TAX

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (August 18, 1999 – Radio Australia)---Papua New Guinea's Forest Industries Association has warned of job losses and a decline in timber production as a result of increased taxes on log exports.

In its new mini-budget, the government announced that it plans to raise eight million dollars in log export revenue by the end of the year.

However, the Association's Executive Officer, Bill Tate, said the new tax will result in 3,000 workers being laid off in the forest sector alone.

He predicted that the tax will cause 12 forest operations to be suspended, which, he said, could result in a 50 percent cut in production and a loss of government revenue.

Mr. Tate called on the Mekere-government to defer any increase in taxes until the whole question of taxes is fully reviewed.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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