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Adjustment made to controversial prakas

Adjustment made to controversial prakas

THE government has adjusted the way it collects royalties on the value of wood contained in the economic land concessions, after some 34 agricultural developers petitioned Prime Minister Hun Sen a month ago.

The companies, headed by tycoon Mong Riththy, had called for the cancellation of article 2 of a prakas, or edict, which set out the way the government is reimbursed for the value of wood in concessions.

Article 2, which was set out in December, said that the value of trees should be evaluated and paid before a company is allowed to bulldoze land. But according to a newly amended article, signed by Finance Minister Keat Chhon and Agriculture Minister Chan Sarun late last month, the value of wood can now be measured after trees are felled. Concessionaires, however, must apply to the Agriculture Ministry at least four months before clearing forest.

“For wood [obtained] from the clearing, the company must rush to collect and pile [it] in order to cooperate with the Forestry Administration to evaluate and pay the royalty to the government before the company uses those woods,” says the newly amended document.

President of Mong Riththy Group, Mong Riththy, who represented the 34 economic companies operating on concessions, said yesterday that he both agreed and would comply with the prakas.

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