Timber companies in Sarawak will likely see their earnings slashed after the 1st of July this year, when state authorities are due to raise timber taxes 6,250 per cent from 80 sen (US$0.19) per cubic metre to RM50 (US$11.57) per cubic metre, according to a report by The Star, a newspaper in Malaysia.
News of the whopping hike was facilitated via a circular named “New Rate for Hill Timber Premium (Sarawak Foundation Fund)”, issued by Sapuan Ahmad, the director of forestry.
According to Datuk Len Talif Salleh, the Assistant Minister for urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment in Sarawak, the raised premium on timber has the potential to generate up to RM30 million (US$6.9 million) annually for the eastern state.
The circular also stated that Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, who also serves as the Minister for Resource Planning and Environment, had approved of the hike in the hill timber premium for all species of logs harvested from the hill forests, as well as logs of hill species found in agri-conversion regions.
Presently, the premium for hill timber stands at 80 sen per cbm (US$0.19) and RM3 (US$0.69) per cbm for logs harvested from agri-conversion regions. However, logs from swamp forests are not included in the timber premium.
Sources: The Star