27/03/2008 (The Star Online), Miri - Local council authorities in Sarawak have been directed to be very firm and uncompromising when collecting levies from oil-palm plantation companies.
State Minister for Environment and Public Health Datuk Michael Manyin said these councils must insist that plantation firms pay their dues on time and in full because the levies are needed to maintain public roads that are being used by these companies to transport their produce.
"These plantation companies had objected to the idea of them having to pay levies to the local councils when we initiated this system two years ago.
"They said that the local councils do not provide any services to them, so why should they pay anything.
"They must understand that they utilise public roads to transport their products everyday. They must also pay for the maintenance of the public roads they use.
"I hope that all councils will enforce these levies strictly. We need to find more revenues to maintain our roads," he said during a two-day national seminar on valuation and local council management held at a beach resort here.
Sarawak has 28 district councils and three city councils.