The National, Thursday September 3rd, 2015
By HELEN TARAWA
PUMA Energy is talking with Bank of PNG on the liquidity issue and is hoping to reach an amicable solution, says its general manager Hulala Tokome.
Tokome told The National that the company was in meetings with the bank all day yesterday and hoped to reach an agreement soon.
“We’ve had positive discussions with the Government and we are now continuing meetings with Bank of PNG and are optimistic that things will be back to normal,” Tokome said.
Puma Energy,PNG’s major petrol supplier, had started its fuel rationing exercise last week due to liquidity issues with the Central Bank.
Its service stations in the National Capital District stopped supplying fuel, with vehicles lining up in long chaotic queues.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said Puma’s dispute was over an unpaid import GST worth K4 billion and assured the public that Mobil had the capability to supply petrol.
According to Puma Energy, due to the lack of liquidity in the forex markets, it had only been able to convert very limited amounts of kina into US dollars to pay its suppliers.
The company said it used its own resources in order to avoid fuel product shortages for PNG and in the hope that a liquidity resolution was achieved quickly.
Tokome said the company was hoping to get a resolution from discussions with the Central Bank and assured its customers and business houses that everything would return to normal soon. We are positive that we will resolve these issues so that business will be back to normal,” Tokome said.
He said that the tax regime issue with Customs was already in progress and should be resolved soon.
Puma Energy had shut down its oil refinery in April because of a tax issue with PNG Customs.