Repeal funding act 2009: Muthuvel

West New Britain Governor Sasindran Muthuvel has appealed to the National Government to immediately repeal the Inter Government Relations Functions and Funding Act 2009.

He said the Act, which was amended in 2012, should be repealed to allow all the provincial governments to resume collecting their own smaller tax revenue.

Muthuvel explained that, in the case of WNB, they are imposing tax on beer (20t per bottle) and cigarette (3t per stick) which brings about K2 million revenue to the provincial government per annum.

However, he said when the amendment in 2012 was implemented, the National Government, through the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC), stopped the provincial governments from collecting any form of revenue.

“We discussed this at length in Alotau and everyone agreed that this is one important repeal we must do immediately.

“In fact, the introduction of beer and cigarette tax was implemented by the National Government through the Inter Government Relations Department using an Australian aid funded consultant and it was successful for a year until then Treasurer Don Polye made these amendments while introducing his 2012 budget.”

Governor Muthuvel says he is extremely thankful and grateful for the understanding of the Treasurer, Charles Abel, PM Peter O’Neill and Government caucus.

He added that he already gave the repeal format prepared by the former chief Secretary, late Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc, to Treasurer Abel.

Muthuvel also acknowledged all the help provided by Sir Manasupe, who was a champion of provincial government reforms, and the assistance of Coffey International, through the Australian Government's Governance Program.

Freddy Mou