Monday, 16 June 2008 7:13 AM

Government has Given in to Loggers: TSI

Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) is disappointed that the Government has backed down and given in to logging companies as it has not increased the Determined Value of logs as has been gazetted.

"By failing to increase the determined log price the country and tree owners are losing millions of dollars," the TSI said in a statement. "TSI has been calling for politicians to stop interfering in the log price and allow it to be set by a transparent and independent process."

The statement went on to say that the new schedule showed only a slight increase in the average determined value, from US$71 to US$78 per cubic metre. "To reflect the true market value a further increase to US$85 should be effective as of 1st of June. TSI understands that Schedule 33 which contains further increase on June 1st has not been implemented due to pressures from logging companies," the statement reads.

TSI says that it is calling on the responsible Ministers to exercise their power to act in the interest of the land owners and the country.

The local media recently reported that the low Determined Value on logs in a loss of at least SBD$120million in 2007.

World prices (CIF) are currently around US$150 for first grade logs.

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