The Autonomous Bougainville Government has received K30 million in tax revenues from the Internal Revenue Commission today after the remittance was approved by the National Government.
IRC Commissioner General Sam Koim made the presentation to President Ishmael Toroama and members of his cabinet and the Bougainville Public Service.
The K30 million is drawn from corporate income tax revenue paid by Bougainville businesses and held in trust as provided for under the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
Mr Koim encouraged the Autonomous Bougainville Government to utilise the funds for programs that will stimulate fiscal self reliance on Bougainville.
Mr Koim said funding the economic sector will allow Bougainville to meet an important pillar of the BPA and that is Fiscal Self-reliance
He told President Toroama that the Prime Minister has assured him that the funds will not be controlled by the National Government.
He added that the funds will be disbursed by the ABG to fund its development priorities at its own discretion but only cautioned against the misuse and wastage of the funds.
President Toroama expressed his gratitude to the National Government and Prime Minister for expediting the release of the funds to Bougainville.
The President said the K30 million will be used to fund economic activities on Bougainville to initiate revenue generation in Bougainville.
“It is time to work for the leaders, the public servants and the people of Bougainville to work together and support the ABG’s economic development priorities,” President Toroama said.
“With the Sharp Agreement in place we must work on building our capacity to support the drawdown of powers and functions as we prepare for independence,” President Toroama said.
Meanwhile the ABG is yet to receive Custom Duties from PNG Customs as is stipulated under the Bougainville Peace Agreement as well as tax payments by Bougainville Copper Limited to the IRC per a court ruling.
The PNG Customs Office has yet to transfer the duties to the Taxation Trust Account which will then be remitted to the ABG.