OPPOSITION CONCERNED OVER PM’s BAUXITE DEALS

The Opposition Leader Hon. Jeremiah Manele. Photo credit: Parliament.

The Opposition Leader Hon. Jeremiah Manele. Photo credit: Parliament.

The Parliamentary Opposition Group has raised serious concerns over the Prime Minister’s alleged personal contact with mining company Bintang.

In a statement, the Opposition has called on the Prime Minister to come clean over claims he has benefited from the company thus promising them zero tax on bauxite.

The Opposition calls on the Prime Minister to explain his personal text messages with the company and why he has personal contacts with the investor.

It is further alleged, the PM had pre-empted the outcome of the bauxite issue before the cabinet deliberated on it.

The Media, during the weekend, released a damning news article revealing the Prime Minister’s text messages with an alleged Bintang miner was made public.

It was reported that the Prime Minister assured the miner that cabinet will give zero rate duty to the bauxite stockpiled in West Rennell, Rennell and Bellona Province.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Opposition Office said, the fact that the Prime Minister was preempting the outcome of the bauxite issue is a matter of serious concern.

It said the Prime Minister has pre-empted the outcome of the issue and later it is obvious that he used the cabinet as a mere rubber-stamp to push the bauxite issue through.

As the chair of the cabinet, the Prime Minister is compromising the independence of the cabinet over the issue.

He is setting a bad precedence and such move is bringing disrepute to the highest office of the land.

The Government’s left wing said the zero rate duty is a big loss for the country adding that the Prime Minister’s assurance of zero rate duty to be backdated means any previous transactions in which 20 percent duty was imposed will be reimbursed by the government.

It adds, the Ministry of Finance will have to reimburse any previous 20 percent duty on the initial export of the bauxite and this will be a big loss for the country.

The Parliamentary Opposition Office challenged the government to serve the interest of the people of this country rather than giving into companies that are only here to extract money from our resources.

The Prime Minister is overseas and could not be reached immediately for his comments on the Opposition’s allegation.

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