The government should have made better decisions back then on some projects in the resource sector that would have eased current economic burdens, than just to resort to imposing additional tax on vital service providers today to make up for lost revenue.
Opposition Leader Belden Namah who made this statement, said although the state may be arguing that the additional tax imposed on Digicel PNG and BSP Financial Group will go towards increasing tax revenue for the country, it may only put more burden on the people.
Instead, Namah said that there are other projects that the government could have better handled earlier that would have eased things now. He said these include matters like the start of the Papua LNG project and the operation of the Porgera Mine.
“The Papua LNG was properly executed when Marape (prime minister) was the chief finance advisor to the prime minister back then Peter O’Neill, and for him to come and stop Papua LNG from going into the construction phase, he stopped a 13billion US dollar foreign direct investment into the country,” said Namah.
“He stopped Papua New Guineans from getting employed, Papua New Guinean companies from getting spin off businesses and from this important LNG project to go ahead so that it could bring in the much needed revenue to our country.”
Namah continued that Prime Minister James Marape’s decision to also put a stop to the Porgera Mine in Enga province over two years ago has contributed to the current situation.
Once again this could have been avoided had a better decision was made because at the time of the decision to stop Porgera Mine from operating, Namah said the gold price was recorded high at about US$2, 000 per ounce.
The opposition leader further stated that by putting in additional tax is not the way to go now to fix these issues in the country’s economy, as it will only add more problems to the country and for the next government to deal with after the 2022 National General Elections.