IRC Expects K9.3B Tax Revenue This Year
by PNG Business News - February 10, 2022
Photo: Commissioner-General Sam Koim
According to Commissioner-General Sam Koim, the Internal Income Commission (IRC) expects to earn roughly K9.3 billion in tax revenue this year.
In response to an inquiry, Koim stated that the IRC's income objective had been boosted by around K1.4 billion by the government. “Last year, we collected, in terms of net transactions to the WPA (Waigani Public Accounts), our target was K8.1 billion, but we transferred about K8.3 billion as of Dec 31, 2021,” he said.
“So we exceeded the target by K200 million but in terms of gross collection, we’ve gone over about K9.5 billion. We had about K721 million transferred to all the provinces in GST distribution, we gave about 60 per cent of the GST back to the provinces where the GST is collected to support the provincial government.
“Last year was a very challenging year, we still had subdued economic conditions as a result of the global Coronavirus (Covid-19).
“But our team stepped up in a major way, with the Covid, we also re-strategised and moved into where the leakages were and low hanging fruits and also moving into the agile way of doing business.
“In that way, it has really yielded some results that were great so we are looking at taking advantage of some of those and doing a lot of new things this year as well.”
Koim said the IRC was developing products and projects to improve the organisation and also boost revenue collection.
“We are hoping that by the time all the projects come to fruition, we’ll be collecting increased revenue at an optimal and sustainable level in the next three years,” he said.
“This year, the Government has increased our revenue target by at least K1.3 to K1.4 billion.”
Reference: Luma, Dale. The National (7 February 2022). “IRC aims to collect K9.3bil in tax revenue this year: Koim”.
PNG Business News - June 28, 2021
IRC and ENB Form Partnership
The Internal Revenue Commision (IRC) and the government of East New Britain (ENB) have formed a partnership to work together on tax collection in the province. IRC commissioner-general Sam Koim and ENB administrator Wilson Matava signed a memorandum of agreement in Kokopo. ENB ranked third in terms of tax collection, but Matava and Koim believe there is still space for growth. The collaboration would allow parties to share information while also allowing the province to assist in improving tax compliance. Matava believes the province's internal income base has a lot of room to develop. “The ENB government has aspirations to gain autonomy, but that will just be a dream if your internal revenue is not strong,” he said. “We are here to help, especially in increasing goods and services tax (GST) collections, so that we will give 60 per cent.” Koim highlighted that taking advantage of the recently implemented small-business tax system has resulted in a good collaboration in the growth of micro and small companies. He said, “ENBPG has aspirations to gain autonomy, but that will just be a dream if your internal revenue is not strong. We are here to help, especially in increasing GST collections so that we will give the 60% of the “more we collect”, to help grow your Provincial economy.”
PNG Business News - February 23, 2022
IRC Inaugurates 2022 Annual Work Plan
The Internal Revenue Commission has inaugurated its 2022 annual work plan at the Revenue Haus in Port Moresby, with the subject "Building the basis of a robust, modern, and efficient tax administration by 2025." Commissioner General Sam Koim of the Internal Revenue Service (IRC) said 2021 would be a difficult year, but with the goal of making IRC a strong, modern, and efficient tax administration by 2025, IRC has dedicated the last few years of his presidency to laying the groundwork for that vision, which is based on seven strategic pillars. IRC has gathered a lot of activities around these seven pillars, according to him, and its strategic purpose for 2022 remains unaltered. “IRC has turned a corner in adopting a measured project management discipline in implementing key initiatives, and despite the measured approach, some of the initiatives featured in the last two annual plans remain incomplete. Therefore, aside from the business as usual priorities, more focus will be given to remaining foundational initiatives,” he said. Mr Koim stated that IRC's total budget prediction for 2022 is K10.509 billion, up 16 per cent or K1.327 billion from projections for 2021. He added that gross income for 2021 was K9.221 billion, based on the premise of unrestricted economic circumstances and intensified compliance efforts, but that despite the slowing economy, IRC collected K9.596 billion, exceeding the target by K375 million. Mr Koim said that the closing of Porgera Mine had a negative impact on tax collection and that the IRC had seen a decrease in employment and commercial activity in general. He went on to say that the rise in Salaries and Wages taxes, Mining and Petroleum taxes, Debt Swap, and GST raised with the introduction of S65A were all contributing elements to IRC's remarkable performance in 2021. IRC is optimistic in producing strong results this year, according to Mr Koim, because they have a lot of scheduled projects to complete. Reference: Kamus, Maxine. Post-Courier (21 February 2022). “IRC Launch 2022 Annual Work Plan”.
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PNG Business News - June 24, 2022
Creating decent income-earning opportunities for rural communities in Papua New Guinea under road maintenance programme
EU Funded UN Joint STREIT PNG Programme, as part of its mission to support efforts towards reducing rural poverty, is engaging local communities with a focus on struggling single parents as a support workforcefor maintenance of 18 selected farm-to-market roads in the Sepik region. Led by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the creation of these employment opportunities in remote communities where there are limited income-generating activities because of lack of accessible roads to markets is a relief to many disadvantaged households. This month the ILO team visited some of these beneficiaries who are employed in the Road Maintenance Groups (RMGs) working on a 17.7km-long Walkasa Mai-Wanwan road and an 8km-long Yiminum-Wilbowe road in the Nuku District of Sandaun Province. For the beneficiaries, this is a lifetime opportunity for a regular and steady income to support their and their families' everyday needs, and one important concern for the struggling families is paying for their siblings' and kids' school fees and associate costs. Among the struggling families are some widows like Marathia, aged 59, from Yiminum Village, who works on the Yiminum-Wilbowe road. "My husband died, and we were really struggling because our families have their own problems to take care of. Now, I'm very happy with this job which I joined last year. It helps with school fees for my children," said Marathia. Marathia was left with five children to support, including one who is attending final year studies at a vocational training nearby. With the income as an RMG, she was able to pay PGK 500 school fee last year and early this year she paid PGK 250. She said the community is also happy to see her contribution in a job they usually see as for men only. For youths like Jena Suwa this employment opens a new window to their life. She was not able to complete her studies after year 10 in 2018. "I'm very happy today because I was doing nothing in the house. I will now save some money to prepare to go back to school to become a nurse," said Jena. Sony Apo is another youth who completed Grade 8 in 2015 and is looking forward to some money to upgrade. He dreams of becoming a carpenter to continue the legacy of his late 'big daddy'. "Big daddy was the only skilled man we had in the family, and now I'm ready to become a carpenter as well," he said. The main works that encompass the road routine maintenance aspect to be undertaken by the RMGs include pothole patching, vegetation clearing, drainage and general cleaning along the road in preparation for engagement of a contractor to perform specific maintenance on these farm-to-market access and feeder roads. Safety gears and road maintenance tools like boots, gloves, vests, safety helmets, spades, hoes, wheelbarrows were also among the tools and equipment provided and distributed by the EU-STREIT PNG Programme among the RMGs' members. During the visits, the Programme's Community Facilitator, Rachel Bowie also shared with the RMGs to demonstrate commitment in their work to take ownership in the routine maintenance of these roads because it will serve them, their families and their fellow community members. The mission also conducted a drone survey of a 14km-long Nanaha-Tau LLG access road in the Ambunti-Drekikier District, East Sepik Province. In consultation with Ward Members, locals, including youths and women, were also recruited to form RMGs to conduct routine maintenance for this road that will also service Drekikier Secondary. Under the Programme selection criteria, one RMG comprises six members that must have at least two females. The group must also have representation from youths, single parents whose partners have died or have deserted them and traditional owners of land the road passes through. The Programme, in partnership with MiBank, a local financial institution, is implementing cashless transactions and banking for rural farmers by opening bank accounts for these RMGs, and their payment is deposited directly at the end of every month. This arrangement encourages rural farmers to save and grow their earnings, which can be used to access small loan benefits. Under this rural agriculture development programme, 18 rural roads in the Sepik region totalling close to 300 km in length are being maintained or upgraded with the help of RMGs to support the market access initiative implemented by the EU-STREIT PNG Programme for rural and farming communities to boost agriculture production and agribusiness activities pertaining to three targeted cocoa, vanilla and fisheries agri-food value chains for an improved income and cash flow for the rural communities. The roads will also support other agricultural, business, social and community activities and facilities like schools, aid posts and health centres that are in dire need of better accessible roads. The EU-STREIT PNG Programme, being implemented as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as the leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the country and the Pacific region. The Programme aims to help improve the lives of the people from East Sepik and Sandaun provinces, by focusing on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through improved economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains while strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment, and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
PNG Business News - June 24, 2022
Santos welcomes new apprentices in higher-level program
Photo: Leon Buskens, Santos Country Chair PNG meeting the 25 new apprentices in Port Moresby before their departure to the Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP) in Malaysia. Joining Mr Buskens and the apprentices are members of the Santos Training and People & Culture Teams. Santos is helping to equip Papua New Guinea’s next generation of oil and gas technicians with international qualifications. Ten females are among 25 novices who have joined the Santos 2022 Apprenticeship Program following a rigorous selection process which will see them train at the Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP) in Malaysia – 900 applications were received for the 2022 Program. Upon completion of the technician training at INSTEP, the apprentices will earn a Pearson Business Education Technology Council Level 2 and Level 3 UK qualification. Santos Country Chair for PNG, Leon Buskens when welcoming the apprentices, said: “You have joined at an exciting time following the merger between Oil Search and Santos. As the inaugural batch under the merged entity, there are greater opportunities for you to advance in all aspects of your career both in PNG and abroad. I encourage you to do your best and importantly, maintain a positive attitude and uphold your values - this is what will take you far on this journey. “This is the beginning, but you should be proud of yourselves as we are of you for making it this far. Congratulations and welcome to Santos.” Joining Mr Buskens to address the new cohort were pioneering trainees Cornelius Soagai, Senior Government Affairs Manager and Lydia Warubi, Deputy Occupational Health & Safety Manager. Mr Soagai went on to become the first national Production Manager in the Operations and Maintenance Department while Ms Warubi made waves as the first national female process technician to work at the Central Processing Facility. Both leaders encouraged the apprentices to maximize on the career development opportunities available to them at Santos. Among the cohort was Judy Sasa who completed the Company’s pre-apprentice program at the Kumul Petroleum Academy (KPA) in 2020. Judy finished at the top of her class and attained an honourable achievement award. A grateful Judy thanked Santos for a further opportunity to broaden her knowledge in oil and gas production. “My dream is coming true as I have always wanted to work in this industry,” Ms Sasa said. The 25 apprentices along with the Santos training team departed PNG for Malaysia last weekend. Two permanent employees were also part of the travelling party to INSTEP where they will train to become dual Electrical & Instrumentation tradesmen. Article courtesy of Santos
PNG Business News - June 23, 2022
PM Marape says East Sepik can become ‘economic powerhouse’ of PNG
Photo: PM Marape addressing the crowd in Maprik Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says East Sepik has the potential to become the “economic powerhouse” of Papua New Guinea. He said in Maprik recently (June 22 2022) that because of this potential, and in memory of founding Prime Minister the late Sir Michael Somare, the next Government would be formed in East Sepik. Present with the Prime Minister were East Sepik Governor Hon. Allan Bird (National Alliance), Angoram MP Hon. Salio Waipo (National Alliance), Maprik MP and Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Hon. John Simon (Pangu) and Pangu candidate for Wosera-Gawi Ronald Asik. Sir Michael was instrumental in the formation of both Pangu and National Alliance “East Sepik has the potential to become the ‘economic powerhouse’ province of our country,” PM Marape said. “This is why I will bring Government formation to here: Firstly, in memory of Sir Michael, and secondly, in memory of Sir Pita Lus. “This will be the 11th Parliament, and the first Parliament without Sir Michael and Sir Pita being alive. “This will be symbolic that the nation is now being passed on to the next generation.” PM Marape said formation of the new Government in East Sepik would also inspire the new generation of leaders to hold on to the lofty ideals of the founding fathers like Sir Michael and Sir Pita. He said his Government, over the last three years, had passed major laws to fight corruption and promised the people of Papua New Guinea that some prominent leaders would be prosecuted after the elections. These include the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Whistle Blowers’ Act and Undisclosed Wealth Act. “What would be the point of Allan Bird and I growing the economy of the country when corruption is still prevalent?” PM Marape said. “We have managed to stifle corruption in the big way with passage of the three bills during the last term of Parliament. “Over the last three years, we have spent over K56 billion, which has grown the economy by K30 billion.” PM Marape said East Sepik’s economic powerhouse potential was in agriculture, through the vast Sepik Plains, and challenged the province to start growing rice on a large scale to reduce the huge K900 million rice import bill. “Over the next few years, and into the future, we want to grow our own rice for domestic consumption as well as export to Phillipines, Indonesia and the rest if the region,” he said. “Sir Michael, before his passing, said he had helped groom me up and asked me not to forget East Sepik into the future. “The way to achieve this is through economic independence. “I want every Papua New Guinean to have money in their pockets: Grow rice, grow cocoa, grow vanilla, look after cattle, bring in tourists, stop consumption of home brew, stop marijuana and other bad habits. “We are ready to take the country to the next level. “I want East Sepik to be an economic powerhouse no longer dependent on Waigani. “This is why I ask the people of East Sepik to send Allan Bird, John Simon, Salio Waipo and my Wosera-Gawi candidate Ronald Asik, Ambunti-Dreikikier candidate Richard Rafa and Wewak candidate Jim Simitab to Parliament. “ Article courtesy of PM JAMES MARAPE News Page