Patrick Pruaitch

Pruaitch backs Western MPs on PNGSDP

In a statement, Pruaitch said he fully supported the united call by all Western Province Members of Parliament, including Governor Taboi Awi Yoto, that the recent Singapore High Court decision should prevent PNGSDP from coming under political interference or outside control.

“The joint letter from the Western MPs cautions Government not to interfere with PNGSDP programs,” said the Opposition Leader.

“PNGSDP is a model entity that operates like a sovereign wealth fund and has done an excellent job in nurturing its long-term fund which now stands at over K4 billion.

PM O'Neill condemns Pruaitch's statement

He said what Pruaitch has said is misleading and untrue.

The Prime Minister said the statement lacked evidence, and challenged the Pruaitch to prove it.

The leader of the Opposition recently claimed that the Government had placed the PNG Electrification Partnership in jeopardy by awarding power projects to companies from China without calling for open and competitive tendering.

Tribunal awaits Pruaitch’s appeal

Members of the tribunal, led by Chairman and Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, adjourned the hearing pending the outcome of an appeal Pruaitch filed in July.

The appeal is on the jurisdiction of the tribunal, whether the leader has the right to be heard by the Ombudsman Commission after “further” investigations on the allegations.

Pruaitch appears before Tribunal

It was a show of solidarity, as the National Alliance Leader, Pruaitch was accompanied by the father of the nation, Sir Michael Somare, yesterday (September 5) in court.

A tribunal, appointed in February 2010 over allegations of misconduct in office, resumed yesterday morning where preliminary issues were raised before members of the tribunal by Pruaitch’s lawyer, Greg Sheppard.

Issues relating to the jurisdiction of the tribunal were raised as well as certain documents that will be used during the hearing.

Pruaitch faces tribunal

This comes after the Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, today announced the appointment of two senior magistrates who will assist Chairman of the Leadership Tribunal and Deputy Chief Justice, Sir Gibbs Salika, to enquire into the misconduct allegations against Pruaitch.

The Aitape-Lumi MP was referred by the Ombudsman Commission in 2008 to the tribunal over allegations of misconduct in office following investigations.

PM brushes away Opposition’s claims

Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch accused the Government of diverting K150 million to a separate account rather than the Disaster Trust Account set up on March 1, 2018.

He claimed that there has been no transparency on the restoration work carried out by the Controller of National Disaster state-of-emergency.

Opposition calls for probe into disaster funds

He claimed that there has been no transparency on the restoration work carried out by the Controller of National Disaster state-of-emergency.

Pruaitch, in a statement, accused the Government for turning a blind eye to the suffering of tens of thousands of Papua New Guineans in the badly hit provinces of Southern Highlands, Hela, Western and Gulf.

He said conflicting information has been provided on funding for earthquake impacted provinces by the Department of Treasury and Dr Bill Hamblin, Controller of National Disaster state-of-emergency.

Opposition calls on PM to resign

The Opposition, in a media conference this afternoon, said O'Neill's leadership has been tarnished when his own people burnt a Link PNG aircraft yesterday to show their frustrations.

The Opposition has expressed disappointment on the burning down of the aircraft along with the courthouse and the Governor’s residence.

ExxonMobil evading tax, Opposition claims

According to a statement issued by Mr Pruaitch, he said there is no plausible reason why ExxonMobil, as the largest equity holder in the US$20 billion venture, has never been the single largest company tax payer since LNG exports commenced in 2014.

The Opposition leader stressed that as an unincorporated joint venture, all five joint venture partners, including Kumul Petroleum, adopt identical accounting standards so the share of profits and taxable income of each partner is broadly comparable and should reflect their individual equity holdings.

Opposition calls for tax explanation

Mr Pruaitch said the public is entitled to facts and not rhetoric explaining why Kumul’s tax figure for 2014 alone was much higher than the total tax paid by Kumul Petroleum for the three years to 2016.

The Opposition leader said the Internal Revenue Commission records released in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) annual reports show that the total tax paid to IRC by Kumul Petroleum in 2014, 2015 and 2016 was only K127.5 million, or K115 million less than what was due in 2014.