In brief: IRC turns ‘spotlight’ on logging sector and other business stories


The Internal Revenue Commission to audit logging companies claiming GST, SP Brewery gets international recognition and PNG DataCo launches COVID-19 website. The business news in brief.


Nasfund and the Ihu Special Economic Project Development Corporation have signed a second Memorandum of Understanding. Charles Vee, Nasfund’s Chairman, reportedly said that ‘from a Nasfund board and management level view, it [the MOU] also addresses two of our key strategic pillars. One is increasing the membership base outside the private sector and secondly looking at the economic infrastructure investments through public private partnership going forward.’ (Post-Courier)


Credit: FM100

South Pacific (SP) Brewery’s South Pacific Export Lager has won a 2021 Gold Quality Award from Monde Selection, one of the top quality institutes in the world. Although this is not the first time that SP Brewery has won a Monde Selection Award, Brand Manager Miriam Lama says the fact that it is for 2021 is a testament to the staff. ‘People are at the heart of our business operations. The people who deserve accolades for this gold award are our very own Papua New Guineans working at the Lae Brewery, as well as our marketing team in Port Moresby,’ said Lama. (FM 100)

Banking and finance

BSP Financial Group Limited is ‘on track’ to list on the Australian Securities Exchange in the first half of this year, according to an update issued to its shareholders last week. Chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou said the move was motivated by a desire to ‘gain access to new sources of capital’ and ‘facilitate increased liquidity’.

The listing will be a Compliance Listing, meaning BSP will not be issuing new shares to sell on the ASX. However, the secondary listing will allow existing shareholders to migrate their shareholdings from the PNGX to the ASX. (BSP)

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PNG DataCo has launched a COVID-19 information website, It will help deliver up-to-date, accurate information about the number of confirmed cases in the country and testing centres. It also provides links to vital information to help stop the spread of COVID-19.


Bougainville referendum

Credit: Department of the Prime Minister and NEC via Facebook

The PNG Government and the United Nations, through its United National Development Program (UNDP), have signed the project agreement Sustaining Peace through Economic Empowerment to help support the economic development of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (pictured right). The agreement is part of the post-referendum activities and is designed to ‘support the ongoing Bougainville peace building process.’ Japan is funding the US$2.8 million (K9.7 million) project, which UNDP will implement. (Department of Prime Minister & NEC)


‘We are now turning the spotlight on this sector [logging],’ said Sam Koim, Commissioner General of the Internal Revenue Commission. He said that the sector has ‘barely paid corporate tax income’ and that its salary and wages taxes are ‘minuscule’ relative to the intensive labour and export income derived.

Koim also said that because of the ‘exporter’ status that logging companies have acquired, they have received ‘a lot of GST refunds over the years.’ To stop evasive tax behaviour, Koim said that logging companies claiming GST refunds ‘will be subjected to a comprehensive audit.’ Twenty logging companies are being audited. (Internal Revenue Commission)

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