Logging firms told to pay up

The Minister for Forests, Walter Schnaubelt, has warned timber operating companies in Papua New Guinea to immediately pay up their outstanding levies and royalty payments to both landowners and the government.

Minister Schnaubelt sounded the warning following failure by most companies and operations to meet their obligations under various agreements.

He said these companies are fully aware of the legal ramifications associated with non-compliance of their legal obligations as stipulated under the agreements and the underlying laws of the country governing the forestry sector.

“Many of these companies are not new to the fact that they have to abide by the legal requirements of the operating and export sales agreements,” Schnaubelt explained.

These companies have signed the agreements with the landowners and the state to pay up on time.

“Many have not complied with the provisions of their respective agreements under which they operate and therefore have outstanding payments.

“As Minister responsible for the industry, I call on them to immediately undertake serious actions and pay up.

“This is critical to the economy that’s why we cannot allow such serious fiscal anomalies to undermine the revenue flow and foreign exchange earnings.”

Schnaubelt said landowners and communities need to be remunerated considering they are mostly rural and remotely based and have difficulty accessing vital government services.

Press release