Vanuatu daily news Digest | 9 February 2015

Both Daily Post and Radio Vanuatu News today are reporting PRO Kiery Manassah on State-Owned Enterprises (SoEs) having to earn more revenue to fill the deficit left by the Hong Kong Capital Investment Scheme. A 900-million vatu deficit is now foreseen by PM Natuman. Loopholes to revenue collection are having to be filled by those working for SoEs since the two-day government retreat of ministers, DGs and directors. Air Vanuatu, Airports Vanuatu Limited, Vanuatu Post Limited, Vanuatu National Housing Corporation, VBTC and the VNPF were among SoEs mentioned in the Radio Vanuatu News report. Manassah concentrated on the projects which can earn the country money, especially those of Public Works such as the Vila Urban Infrastructure Development Project, Lapetasi Wharf and airport resurfacing. The government is now working quickly on such developments, on the one hand ensuring more employment and more cash in the economy. And on the other hand so that political reform can become a reality to ensure stability. He also promised a Government and Opposition committee to look into a report of Professor Don Paterson on Constitutional change which would control MPs’ floor crossing and other aspects of instability which could be dealt with by a referendum in 2016 at the same time as the next general elections. Representatives of the Commonwealth will be here next month to assist planning for such bi-partisan consultation and work.

Daily Post reports Prime Minister Natuman speaking on the ‘roadmap’ decided upon by the leaders of the four parties (VP, NUP, MPP and PPP) seeking re-unification and an end to instability. PM Natuman urged leaders of the parties to "re-discover their roots, like the nabanga does." The other leaders welcomed his endorsement of the importance of their common heritage.

The government is giving a grace period of 2 months for importers to complete their declarations and payments which will end on 6 April. Copyright and intellectual property issues are also being taken up, VBTC reported.

In Daily Post today the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry – VCCI takes up the claim of Vanuatu Brewing that Tusker is unfairly dealt with by government as a result of high excise rates. The brewer is seriously considering moving its operations away from Vanuatu.

The VNPF says it will finance the tertiary studies of Vanuatu Government sponsored students at the Laucala Bay Campus of USP. Chairman Simil Johnson said the Fund was happy to be supporting education development, Radio Vanuatu reported.

Police trespass on property at Salili and the unlawful arrest of Serge Mamelin in 2008 will cost the government VT 1.4 million a judgement in Mamelin’s favour records. Daily Post details the story which followed a complaint that Mamelin had trespassed on to Monvoisin property at Tanoliu.