In brief: Papua New Guinea SOEs’ tax debt close to K700 million and other business stories


The Internal Revenue Commission’s potential plans for state-owned enterprises to repay tax arrears, Fiji welcomes Kina Bank, and Link PNG’s proposed acquisition of PNG Air rejected. The business news you need to know today.


Sam Koim [right] during the presentation of PNG Ports K26 million cheque. Credit: IRC via Facebook


The Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) has confirmed that state-owned enterprises (SOE) owe ‘just under K700 million’ in taxes.

‘That’s a significant debt owned by the SOEs, led by PNG Power,’ said Commissioner-General Sam Koim. ‘The proposal we’ve put before Government is to have a debt swap arrangement to clean off some of the debt.’ He said another option was to ‘shift the tax liability onto the directors of the respective SOE’ under the recently- introduced Directors Penalty Notice.

The Commissioner General added that PNG Power reportedly owes K400 million (IRC)


Meanwhile, PNG Ports has presented a cheque for more than K26 million in advance payment of taxes to the IRC. PNG Ports Chairman Kepas Wali reportedly said that this payment is a result of ‘prudent management’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. (The National)


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PNG Fashion Week has announced its home and premier venue partner: the Hilton Hotel in Port Moresby. This follows their partnership for the Paradise Runway, which will take place on 18 September. (Post-Courier)


‘Not a waste of money,’ said Prime Minister Marape of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the K3 billion Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) loan. His comment came in response to recent criticism on the inquiry.

‘We are engaged in the UBS COI to claims damages and restitution from those companies, as well as criminally prosecute individuals who knowingly participated in this crime without due process,’ said Marape in a statement. ‘I call on those who are innocent in this saga to come forward and place your evidence.’


An eight-module training program for cocoa farmers has started in the Sepik region. The Food Agriculture Organisation led EU-STREIT PNG Program is delivering the program in collaboration with the Cocoa Board, and its main goal is to deliver knowledge on how to ferment, dry and produce quality cocoa, thereby increasing the overall quality of the cocoa produced in PNG. (Post-Courier)


The Business Council of PNG’s Robert Nilkare

The government’s commodity price support and intervention program is not sustainable, according to Robert Nilkare, Chairman of the Agriculture Sector Committee. The price support program roll-out started in 2019 and saw K50 million allocated to different commodities including cocoa, rice, citrus, honey and livestock, among others. Nilkare reportedly said that funds distribution has been a ‘question mark’ and that he is ‘interested to see the final report that comes out on how much money was given, who benefitted from it and what are the social and economic returns on the price support funds that went out.’ (Post-Courier)


The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) has rejected Air Niugini subsidiary Link PNG’s application for the proposed acquisition of 40 per cent shares of superannuation fund Nasfund and nine per cent from ‘unspecified shareholders’ in PNG Air Limited. (ICCC)


Kina Bank has announced that it has received a notification from the Reserve Bank of Fiji conditionally approving Kina’s application to ‘conduct business in Fiji as a commercial bank’. Kina has agreed to acquire Westpac Fiji, and the Reserve Bank of Fiji has noted that its acquisition won’t affect domestic competition. The Fijian Competition & Consumer Commission has given conditional approval for the acquisition of Westpac Fiji by Kina Bank. (Kina)


Petroleum Minister Kerenga Kua said last week that the signing of the agreement for the K2.7 billion Pasca A project will be signed this week after it wasn’t signed on the 29 July as previously announced. Twinza said in a statement that it ‘remains hopeful that the agreement, that was finalised on the 6th July 2021, can indeed be signed and that the Pasca A Project can move in to the FEED Phase.’ (The National)


  1. Alois Wenei Wandu says

    Under the Department of Tourism Arts and Culture I Alois Wenei Wandu am the Senior Business Development Officer for Tourism in Sandaun Province.

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