Transparency Solomon Islands commends the Government and Minister of Forests, Sir Allan Kemakeza for standing firm in their decision to increase the determined value for logs in line with announced government policy.
Despite strong pressure and threats from the logging association the Government is making the right decision in increasing the determined log value from US78 to US85 per cubic metre on the 1st June.
No one should be misled by the loggers’ campaign of misinformation. Logging companies are certainly receiving much more than the previous US78 per cubic meter.
It is true that the 25% duty is usually paid from the 40% allocated to Land owners and not out of the 60% share of the logging companies. But 40% of US85 is more than 40% of US78. The increase in the determined value of logs benefits land owners and government. It ensures that the land owners get a better share of the exploited forests.
TSI also cautions Land owners not to be deceived into believing that the 40/60 split between Land owners and loggers is a legally established arrangement. Loggers may refer to this split as if it is a legal requirement, it is not! It should not be accepted without challenge.
TSI applauds the government for doing what is right and welcomes the decision announced by Minister Lilo on 24th April to move to a system where the determined value will be updated every three months based on a transparent process, without Ministerial intervention, as quoted below:
“After 1 June, the determined value schedule will be subject to automatic three-monthly updates by the Ministry of Forestry and the Comptroller of Customs, without the need for Ministerial intervention.
Mr Lilo said the formula and the automatic adjustment process will mean that Solomon Islanders receive a fair return for their log exports while ensuring that logging companies are not overly burdened when the market value of logs fall. He said the system is fair and transparent to everyone.”
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