4 Jul 2005

Bougainville advised to improve efficiency of tax collection

8:20 pm on 4 July 2005

An economic taskforce set up in the Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville says improving tax collection has to be a priority for the new government.

The taskforce's publicity officer, Robert Atsir, says they need to run an awareness compaign to show business operators the importance of paying taxes and teaching them how to do it.

He says the failure to pay tax is partly due to dissatisfaction with the Goods and Services Tax, or GST, but also a legacy of the crisis years when the province being was exempt from paying such taxes.

Mr Atsir says currently the government is only collecting around a million kina from GST annually, and could increase this to as much as four million kina.

But this is not nearly enough.

"What we need to do is bring in more investments, more business activities that generate in the order of say 30 to 40 million revenue per annum, so that that will have a substantial impact on the [tax] revenue generated."