Norwegian Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum has declined calls to postpone the implementation of the country's controversial salmon tax.

The government first proposed the introduction of a 40 percent ground rent tax on salmon and trout farming companies in September.

The tax is set to take effect on Sunday and will be applied to production volumes above 4,000 metric tons, but the final decision on the amount payable will not be made until the summer by the Storting, the Norwegian Parliament.

The Head of Business Policy at Seafood Norway, Peder W. Egseth, is amongst those calling for a pause.

"We believe the process should be postponed so that we can conduct a consequence assessment of a new tax model for the industry," he told Norwegian news agency, NTB.

Seafood Norway claims the proposal will triple the tax on aquaculture, and that some companies will have to pay over 100 percent tax.

"It is obvious that it is not a sustainable tax level," said Egseth.

One of the contentious issues is which salmon price should apply when the tax is calculated.

The government has proposed a standard price, arguing that as some companies are involved in both farming and processing, they have the ability to decide the price themselves when they sell it internally, and that this could lead to tax avoidance.

But the industry believes that failing to use the market price will lead to uncertainty, making it more difficult to enter into long contracts.

While there have been a number of tweaks from Vedum since the basic rent tax was first announced, he was firm in his response.

"We have explained in several rounds, most recently in a letter to the Storting, that it is their actual income that will be taxed. There is no reason to doubt that the tax will be implemented, or what will be taxed," he said.

The government has estimated that the new tax will generate as much as NOK 3.8 billion (€360 million/$380 million) in increased tax revenues from the industry in 2024.

The world's largest salmon farmer, Mowi argued that this estimate is incorrect. They believe the tax rate of 40 percent will generate significantly more billions of kroner for the state treasury.

The state Norwegian Seafood Council and the Directorate of Fisheries have both been critical of the decision to use standard prices rather than market prices.

The government was supported by the tax committee, which submitted its report before Christmas. and was unanimous in its support for the tax.