Logging companies operating in Makira and Ulawa Province owes the Province two million dollars in taxes.This was revealed by the Premier of the Makira Ulawa Province, Thomas Weape.
He said that the outstanding two million dollars was accumulated over the years and some of the nine companies that are either operating or had operated there before have already left without paying their taxes to the Province.
Premier Weape said that this has been quite disappointing given the difficulties successive Provincial Governments have been facing by trying to provide basic services to their people with very limited financial resources.
The Premier also revealed that some logging companies are still operating even though their licenses have expired.
Premier Weape said that without the revenue owed by the loggers to the Province, it is very difficult for the Province to operate with the annual assistance from the national government and the limited revenue the Province is collecting in taxes.
The Makira Ulawa Premier said that the Provincial Government has been calling on these logging companies to pay their taxes and to discuss licensing issues with the Province, however, there was no response from the companies
The Premier condemned such actions by the logging companies who have been exploiting trees in Makira without paying their taxes to help develop and provide Makira Province with essential infrastructures such as roads, bridges, housing and other infrastructure development.
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