Government seems powerless toward PTFI’s debts

Richard Adkerson (left) and Sri Mulyani (right) in a talk in Jakarta last August – Reuters

Jayapura, Jubi – Head of the Papuan provincial Ad Hoc Team for PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) overpayment, Ruben Magai said the Indonesian government was powerless to force Freeport to pay its Rp5.6 trillion surge in surface water taxes debt to the provincial government in accordance with the Verdict of Commercial Court Jakarta, January 18, 2017.

He said, despite losing the Jakarta Commercial Court, until now PT Freeport Indonesia has not paid its obligations to the Papua Province.

“The central government is also silent, because they also involved in signing Freeport’s contract of work (KK), so it cannot do much, because the work contract is the reference of the management of Freeport in tax payment,” Ruben Magai told Jubi last week.

According to him, various problems of PT Freeport during this time, covered with Papuan political status. But now one by one vthsecret that has been hidden related to Freeport began to reveal, including PTFI tax overpayment to central government for this is 10 percent of the supposed 25 percent, since 1991.

“The central government needs to take steps with various problems that have happened so far, the central government now acts like the owner of Papua’s natural wealth, which should be the Amungme and Kamoro tribes,” he said.

He also said that so far in Freeport’s investment scheme; it does not involve three parties, namely the government, investors, and the customary community or land owners. In the future he hopes that these three parties will play a role. How investors invest, the government prepares administration eg licensing, and indigenous peoples who make contracts of employment.

“Indigenous people should know how many percentages that investors get, and the government receives taxes, this function that does not work so far,” he said.

Chairman of Hanura Legislative Council of Papua, Yan Permenas Mandenas said the results of his meeting with Toni Wenas, Vice President Director of FI and Rini, Vice President of FI Tax Sector, two weeks ago at Freeport Headquarters in Jakarta said PTFI management states they will pays, but not at once.

“But the Papua provincial government does not agree with the payment method, because it wants to be paid all at once,” said Mandenas.

In addition, according to him, PT Freeport also needs a mature calculation to pay its obligations, because there is a difference in calculations between the management of gold and copper companies from the United States with the Papua Province.

The Papua Provincial Government’s version is that Freeport has to pay Rp5.6 trillion, while Freeport wants the calculation in accordance with the laws and regulations.

“Freeport hopes that if they pay in the present state of the company, they would pay the taxes, worth Rp2.7 trillion, excluding fines; (if it agreed) they are ready (to pay), that’s the result of my discussions with Freeport management then,” he said. (