Opposition: Reinvest in SOEs

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 30th April 2013


THE government should reinvest in the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and not restructure them, opposition leader Belden Namah says. 

And he has urged the government to reconsider its decision to restructure major state assets such as the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) and Petromin PNG Holdings.

“What is needed is recapitalisation and not restructure of the two state-owned enterprises,” Namah told a media conference in Port Moresby yesterday.

“They need strategic support. Any reform or restructure must bear the importance of the issue of maximisation of our take on the extraction of our resources. 

“A reform or structure in this time and age without increasing our take to a higher level is meaningless. 

“If the government is not supportive of the objectives of Petromin then it must first introduce legislative and policy reforms designed to increase the State’s take from resource development by foreign companies. 

“It must now legislate to have increases in corporate tax, royalty and free equity participation in any future project,” Namah said. 

A statement from the Opposition leader stated the main function of the IPBC was to manage all state-owned enterprises with a view to ensure that the SOEs are healthy and profitable. 

Petromin’s function was to manage the state’s equity in the mining and petroleum industry, particularly as an investor and developer. 

Namah said the functions were straightforward and there was no logic in the proposed restructure of the two public corporations. 

The opposition also called for the removal of additional liabilities on IPBC to enable it to concentrate on its core function to manage and provide strategic support to all SOEs.