PNG Government committed to the sale of Digicel, Treasurer says

 Papua New Guinea TREASURER Ian Ling-Stuckey says the Government is committed to the sale of Digicel to Telstra at the end of the month.

Ling-Stuckey said this yesterday in response to speculation in the media that the additional company tax would affect the sale.

He assured the public that the Government was committed to the sale going through in the expected timeframe.

PNG Government  committed to the sale of Digicel, Treasurer says

“As I stated in my Parliamentary speech covering the updated legislation, it was known that some would not be happy with the tax,” he said.

“No one is happy with having to pay a new tax.

“We are expecting more complaints and challenges, but that usually comes with a good economic reform process.”

Ling-Stuckey said there would be some losers but “many more winners” with the people benefitting from the increased revenues.

“We need budget repair given the economic mismanagement of past years made all the worse by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic,” he said.

“This is a fair tax on those sectors with the highest profits instead of the unfair alternative of an increase in the goods and services tax (GST) or extra personal income taxes which would hurt PNG families.”

Ling-Stuckey said key regulatory steps for the sale had been completed including the clearance by the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC), along with regulatory approval from the Bank of Papua New Guinea.

The final clearance from the National Information and Communications Technology Authority (Nicta) is expected shortly.

This will then allow the sale to proceed by the end of the month.

The National / Tech Pacific

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