MP for Central Guadalcanal, Peter Shanel Agovaka, says mining royalties should be increased to 10 percent from its current rate of three per cent, so landowners can receive a greater proportion of the royalties.
The Member of Parliament also questioned why landowners have to share their percentage of royalty with the Provincial Government – an agency of the National Government.
Mr Agovaka told Parliament last Thursday, the National Government should consider sharing its portion of royalty, instead of landowners.
“The government said landowners you will give part of your share to the province, point three percent was taken out of the landowners share so we actually had one point two percent Sir. And listening to my colleague member for East Choiseul it’s true that the landowner’s share is further squished. The point that I want to raise here Sir is this, why should the landowner’s share or portion of the royalty be divided further to the Guadalcanal province or the provincial government for this matter? I was of the view that the Provincial government is the arm of the national government and hence it’s an agent of the national government and as an agent, the national government should give part of their share to the provincial government, instead we have further squished the landowner’s share and that’s very sad.”
The Central Guadalcanal MP also called on the Minister for Mines and Energy to consider increasing the mining royalties percentage to 10 percent.
“Before we really legalise the percentage we did by MoU between us and the Solomon Islands Government, the one point five, one point two and one point three; we should go up a bit more, ten percent would be a better royalty rate Sir so that we have a bigger proportion to the government, a bigger proportion to the provincial government and a bigger proportion to the landowners. Sir this amendment I think the Minister you should bring the Amendment of the point three percent so that it reflects the wishes of people who own the land.”
The Central Guadalcanal MP was speaking during debates on the Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill in Parliament last Thursday.
The Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill was also passed on Thursday last week.