In brief: tariffs, fees and levies hurting agriculture and other business stories


NBPOL claims tariffs, fees and levies are hurting agriculture, SMEs to benefit from government’s stimulus and government owes over K1 billion to businesses. The business news you need to kickstart your week.

Prime Minister Marape arrives in Goroka to present the National Coffee Development Roadmap 2020 – 2030 and greets children from Madang Province who were visiting the airport. Credit: Prime Minister Office & NEC/Facebook


Along with added tariffs on fertilisers and fuel, the Climate Change Development Authority and the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations have imposed a new levy and increased fees on agribusinesses.

The CEO of New Britain Palm Oil, Jamie Graham, told The National: ‘These Government charges and the added tariffs on fertiliser and fuel that the Government has recently imposed, puts the business under tremendous pressure. In order to remain in business, we will have to look at further cost-saving measures, which sadly may include hundreds of Papua New Guineans losing their jobs.’ (The National)


The Prime Minister announced last week in Goroka during the launch of the Coffee Industry Corporation’s National Coffee Development Roadmap 2020 – 2030  that K165.5 million had been transferred to PNG’s 89 districts to aid in the development of agribusinesses and SMEs. Each district has received K1 million for agriculture and K500,000 for SMEs. (Department of Prime Minister & Nec)


Oil Search has announced it will write down the value of some of its PNG-based exploration assets ‘due to lower prospectivity or sub-optimal economics’.

‘Given the ongoing gas supply uncertainties resulting from the recent suspension of mining activities at the Porgera Project, the carrying value of the Hides Gas-to-Electricity Project is also expected to be fully impaired,’ it said in a market release today. (Oil Search)

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The Australian government will fund the upgrading of Mt Hagen’s main market in Western Highlands Province. The funding is part of Australia’s response to help PNG recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Post-Courier, the market closed three months ago, but repairs need to be done before it can re-open to the public. (Post-Courier)


The K200 million allocated to help MSMEs hasn’t been released yet. According to Des Yaninen, President of the Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME) Council, K100 million will go to Bank South Pacific, K80 million to the National Development Bank and K20 million to the Department of Commerce and Industry to offer concessional loans for MSMEs. (The National)


PNGCCI’s John Leahy

The President of the PNG Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PNGCCI), John Leahy, told The National that the government owes business more than K1 billion. ‘At every PNGCCI meeting, whether in person or by zoom in the past couple of years, failure by the national government to pay its debts is a major concern identified by chambers throughout the country,’ he said. (The National)


The government is being urged to stop the construction work at Lombrum Naval Base in Manus Province and to review the Lombrum memorandum of understanding (MoU) between PNG and Australia. (Manus Provincial Government)


The closure of PNG’s border with Indonesia to halt the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in an 85 per cent fall in trade along the border area. Indonesia Ambassador to PNG Andriana Supandy reportedly said that last year ‘transaction along the border area recorded in average IDR 24 billion (K6.9 million) every month’. Supandy has met with PNG representatives to discuss the potential re-opening of the border. (Post-Courier)


The Ok Tedi Mine villages in Western Province have received a payment of K7.2 million from trust company Mineral Resource Star Mountain Limited. The villages hold 9 per cent equity holdings in the Ok Tedi Mine. (Post-Courier)


Morobe’s Governor, Ginson Saonu, told the Conservation Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) in Lae last week that his people are concerned about the environmental impact of the Wafi-Golpu gold project. They are particularly worried about the proposed deep-sea tailings placement, and Sounu has asked CEPA for additional expertise to assist with the environmental review. (The National)


On 6 June, Samson Nul, President of the National Airlines Employees Association (NAEA) and John Randolph, President of the Flight Attendances Association (FAA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to merge both associations, ‘a foundational step towards building stronger unity to support employees better,’ said Foe about the merger. Nul called on other unions to join them to ‘build a much stronger union in the airline industry’. (Post-Courier)

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