Kumul Petroleum brushed aside debt claims

​Kumul Petroleum Limited Managing Director Wapu Sonk has brushed aside claims by the Opposition leader Patrick Pruaitch on the debt owed to Internal Revenue Commission (IRC).

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.

The Opposition leader claimed that there has been tax evasion or avoidance on a grand scale and it is extremely disconcerting that neither the Department of Treasury, nor the IRC, were aware of details in the published accounts of PNG’s most profitable State-Owned Enterprise.

In its 2015 “Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income for the Year ended 31 December 2015,” Kumul Petroleum recorded that its income tax expense amounted to US$92 million (K293.9 million) in 2015, following a similar tax of US$79.06 million (K252.5 million) in 2014.

However, the Internal Revenue Commission advised the National Government’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) that corporate tax paid by Kumul Petroleum only amounted to K73.8 million in 2015 and K21.89 million in 2014 prior to its name change from NPCP Ltd.

Mr Pruaitch further claimed that the State has been defrauded of tax payments amounting to almost half a billion-kina, money which would have greatly eased the massive government borrowing in 2014 and 2015 and contributed to improved budget outcomes.

Freddy Mou