Patrick Pruaitch

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.

Kumul Petroleum brushed aside debt claims

Opposition Leader, Patrick Pruaitch, in a statement claimed that Kumul Petroleum owes Internal Revenue Commission K451 million for corporate taxes they should have paid in 2014 and 2015.

Kumul Petroleum Limited MD, Wapu Sonk, when responding to claims by the Opposition told this newsroom that these are mere allegations politically motivated.

He said Kumul Petroleum always paid its taxes and couldn’t be in debt to such a big magnitude as claimed.

Pruaitch on cash flow issues

That was his response when responding to Deputy Prime Minister Charles Abel on cash flow issues in the country.

The Opposition leader said his advice from his very first budget in 2014 was to sharply curtail the level of borrowing.

He added that when Government is in receipt of record revenue, it is not the time to be making excessive loans and running large fiscal deficits.

He said the Government borrowed far too much in a brief period and most of it has been misspent.

Opposition calls for disaster report

Pruaitch in a statement said the aftermath of the disaster has seen ongoing clan fighting, chaos, law and order issues in Hela and Southern Highlands provinces.

Pruaitch raised this concern as the Government’s report was due nine weeks ago.

He said the Government is yet to provide a clear account of the extent of damages and devastation and future plans for the people affected.

Opposition commends OC’s report

Pruaitch said if the Ombudsman had not investigated a 10-year Build-Operate-Lease-Transfer (BOLT) agreement, the National Government would have agreed to pay K981.79 million annually for Government accommodation it planned to build.

Pruaitch claimed that the annual lease payment would have been more than four times the total current office rental paid by Government if the negotiation had gone through.