The Makira Ulawa Provincial Executive has demanded a logging company operating in that province to pay up its license fees by today.
The Poly Logging company owes the province SBD350,000.00 for this and last financial year, according to a statement from the provincial executive.
The statement said the company’s new general manager early this week sought leniency and more time from the Makira Ulawa Provincial Executive but his request was refused instead the company was told to pay up by today or face further consequences.
However, Provincial Minister for Primary Industries Mathew Taro, said in the same statement that the province requires all firms with overdue fees to pay the provincial treasury by the end of this month or face the law.
He said that his office is made aware of some new logging firms that are intending to land their machines in the province in a few months time but without obtaining the right permits.
He warned all the Logging Contractors and Licensees who have partly paid or yet to pay their business Licences that they must clear their arrears before 31st July 2017.
His office and Provincial Secretary of MUP are currently working closely with the Commissioner of Forest in trying to address this issue
He added that his Executive is considering the issue of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Reports as required in the process to obtain licences and how it had been done in the past.
The Executive is fully aware that all the EIA reports submitted to the Director of Environment for Development Consent was only done in Honiara using the “copy paste” practice.
The process as stated in the Environment Act is never complied with.
The Ministry of Environment and Commissioner of Forest have been approached on this issue and work will be done shortly to address it.
The Makira Ulawa Provincial Government had in the past tried to enforce the MUP Business Ordinance 2006 by collecting business license fees from the local business houses and logging investors but without success due to limited resources at their disposal.
The Provincial Executive acknowledges those few logging Contractors and Licensees that have complied to the said MUP Business Licence Ordinance 2006 and encourage them to continue to honor their obligations since it legitimizes their business operations
Makira Ulawa Province consists of twenty (20) Provincial Wards and the MUP Business Licence Ordinance states clearly that any kind of business undertaking that in any way deals in harvesting of natural resources should apply for a business Licence for that particular ward before carrying out operation.
The Business license is not transferable to another ward, company or a person. Most of the logging contractors coming into Makira Ulawa Province tend to ignore this portion of the Ordinance using ignorance of the law as an excuse.