Consistency and government involvement needed

National Planning and Monitoring Minister, Richard Maru, says consistency, fairness, and government involvement in the awarding of Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme (ITCS) is needed.

He said this during the ITCS Stakeholders Workshop in Port Moresby on Wednesday.

Minister Maru did not mince his words during his remarks at the ITCS workshop, highlighting issues he said the government want reviewed and discussed.

He said ITCS projects must be consistent with national and local level plans, be fairly distributed across the country, and have government involvement in the consultation and procurement process.

He said there has been no oversight over ITCS and this has to change.

Additionally, he said not all was bad and there was some good examples of ITCS which needed to be learnt from and expanded on

The ITCS was first introduced in 1992, with the Porgera Joint Venture Project.

Since then it has been undertaken by several companies which include, OK Tedi Mine, Oil Search, Lihir Gold Mine and New Britain Palm Oil.

Since 1992, over a billion in ITC has been invested.

Secretary for National Planning & Monitoring, Hakaua Harry, said in her presentation that the way forward for the ITCS is:

  • ITCS project to be consistent with National, Provincial and Local Level Plans;
  • ITCS projects to be fairly distributed across the country;
  • Government to be involved in the ITCS procurement process:
  • All stakeholders to be to be consulted in ITCS project identification process; and
  • ITCS expenditure reports to be circulated to all stakeholders.

Currently the ITCS has been suspended pending a review of the scheme through the stakeholder workshop.

Cedric Patjole