New Treasurer tasked to review tax arrangements

A review of the tax arrangements in major resource projects is one of the terms of reference given to Treasurer, Sam Basil, by Prime Minister James Marape.

Minister Basil said this during the handover takeover of the Treasury Ministry on Thursday in Port Moresby.

Basil takes over Treasury from Charles Abel, who is now Finance Minister.

Treasurer Basil said the Terms of Reference given to him by Prime Minister Marape are in line with the Prime Minister’s goal of PNG being the richest black Christian nation.

The ToR includes:

  • Achieving a balanced budget by 2020;
  • Reducing Debt to GDP to an acceptable level;
  • Increase Tax Revenue by 50 percent;
  • Enhance Taxation Compliances;
  • Reform Tax System to provide more equitable collection;
  • Review Tax Arrangement of Major Resources Projects;
  • Create resource development project taxation framework and best practise guide; and
  • Empower Provincial Government tax collection.

“This together with the Prime Minister’s state of nation address from the terms of references for the way forward, I expect Department of Treasury to help me deliver, for the sake of the economy of our country and how we translate it to wellbeing of our people,” Basil said.

“I already have a brief overview of our budget revenue and given preliminary directions to address that, I would like a total brief and recommendations on appropriate and strategic actions necessary to correct some of our key concerns and challenges we are currently facing.”

Minister Basil said following a full briefing, he will deliver a Ministerial Statement on the state of the economy. And he called on the country to use it to hold the Government accountable.

“Out of those figures that we will be presenting, as a new Government coming forward, we will expect Papua New Guineans in the next election, to measure us against those figures. And we will work very hard to ensure that we strive for the best.”

Meanwhile, Minister Charles Abel thanked the staff of Treasury for the support during his time as Treasurer.

He also urged Basil to retain the integrity of the budget structure.

Cedric Patjole