West discusses increasing revenue collection

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BY ALFRED PAGEPITU

GIZO

Western Province Finance Minister Lester Saomasi

THE Western province government has been urged to step up in its revenue collection.

Leaders of the province suggested this in light of the proposed budget cut to the provinces by the national government.

This sentiment was deliberated in last week’s sine die motion, with non-executives strongly arguing that Premier Wayne Maepioh’s government must ‘revamp its revenue collection mechanism’ to cover up for the funding gap that would be created by the national government’s 80 percent budget cut to the provinces.

One proposal voiced was the idea to increase provincial fees on logging companies operating in the province.

Western province finance minister Lester Sa’omasi in response to the call said that the province is stepping up in its revenue collection.

“I must extend this call to the newly appointed Liquor License board and any in incoming provincial executive to verse all liquors fees charged by this province and have them increase even beyond 100 percent is liquors retailers had enjoyed this laxity on our part for a length period.”

He adds however that recent exercises by the province to upgrade duties could have been successful if they were coordinated properly.

Sa’omasi said that land fees and property rates are legal revenues of the province under its 1989 Rating Ordinance.

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