30 Jun 2006

Solomons loses millions on remissions for log exports

11:23 am on 30 June 2006

Solomon Islands lost up to 40 million Solomon Islands dollars last year on remissions granted log exports.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reports the acting Finance Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo as saying most of the applicants for exemptions were landowners.

The radio says the new government is not keen to entertain further exemptions on round log exports.

Mr Lilo says the government would be developing policies to assist resource owners and communities to reap the benefits of reforestation.

The government communications unit says that in its policy framework, the government indicated it would improve forest sustainability and benefits to local communities, including reforestation of logged-over land.

But Mr Lilo says this will not be based on providing export duty remissions.

In another development, the country's Department of Agriculture and Livestock has refuted claims that funds for a proposed palm oil project were not well managed.

Agriculture Secretary, Edward Kingmele, made the denial in response to claims that the government used the allocated money on other items.

But Mr Kingmele says the allegations were misleading and confusing for the landowners because most of the money was spent on the land mobilisation process for the project.