Post Courier | December 7, 2017
A landmark amendment in the 2018 National Budget has now facilitated the repealing of the secrecy provisions within the Income Tax Act of 1959.
As a result of the amendment, the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) will be authorised to disclose mining company tax information to the PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) upon request, for reporting purposes.
The amendment has been well received by the PNGEITI, who previously were required by law to seek the approval of extractive companies through waiver letters, before any tax information could be released by the IRC.
Head of the EITI National Secretariat, Lucas Alkan commended the Government for acting on amendment.
He said this was the second time the government had accommodated submissions presented to them by the EITI to streamline their reporting process.
“I am happy to say the way in which the government is working with us to arrest capacity issues for EITI implementation in PNG is encouraging.
EITI implementation is gaining footholds and we are optimistic that the intent of EITI is materialising for the good of the extractive sector in the economy” Mr Alkan said.
“Our core mandate of promoting accountability and transparency in the management of petroleum and mineral resources, by producing a yearly report on the transactions in the mining and petroleum sector.”
He said this serves as a useful tool that identifies setbacks and inconsistencies that impinge on the better translation of mineral and petroleum wealth to the larger segment of the economy.
Mr Alkan said the positive response has demonstrated an active interest by the government in promoting the transparency of the extractive industry, as one of the most dynamic contributors in the economy.
“PNGEITI’s commitment and resolve to help the Government address resource governance issues to build a strong economy remains critical and such support from the government strengthens our position in advancing our process.”