By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
PNG Ports Ltd presented a cheque of more than K26 million to the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) yesterday as tax payments.
PNG Ports chairman Kepas Wali said the advance payment of K26,365,760 in taxes was a result of prudent management by the entity during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) impacted period.
“This is another significant milestone for PNG Ports,” Wali said.
“It was about a year ago, I believe, that we did a similar payment of about K43 million (which was) part of 2019 and a provisional tax for 2020,” he said.
“(This is) despite all the challenges of Covid-19 (which) has had a major impact on the economy, port operations, and shipping generally.
“This is also a result of prudent measures put in place by the board and management to contain Covid-19, particularly at the ports because that’s where we have shipping and interactions across the ports, with especially shipping that comes from overseas and also locally.
“Because of the measures, none of the ports have shut down, and we continue to operate profitably.
“There were also some cost cutting measures that the management has done during the Covid-19 (lockdown) period last year and this year.”
Public Enterprise and State Investment Minister William Duma said PNG Ports was one of the success stories of the country in terms of where the SOEs were placed.
“It (PNG Ports) has continued to deliver dividends for our country and of course the tax due to IRC,” he said.
“I’ve realised that over the years, maybe for the last two to three years, tax in the vicinity of K100 million plus has been paid so far.
“During this time of the pandemic when most of the companies owned by our people are not performing that well, PNG Ports is a standout.
“In times like this, K26 million is a lot of money when most of our SOEs cannot deliver even a decent return on investment.”
By SHIRLEY MAULUDU