Jakarta, Jubi – First Chairman Deputy of Papua Legislative Council Edoardus Kaiza accused PT. Freeport Indonesia of showing off its power by violating the local government’s regulations, in particular regarding tax.
“Freeport seems to act like it was a state. States are not allowed within in the Republic of Indonesia. United States of America can’t exist in here. All this time it seems it acts as if it were a state,” said Kaize when meeting with Commission XI of the Indonesian House of Representatives at the Indonesian Parliament Office last week.
According to him, one of evidences showed how arrogant the Freeport is when the Papua Provincial Government charged the company for water surface tax, it took it by suing the local government.
“Freeport should have good intention, it’s funny if it charge the government. The government provided permit for it to conduct the mining operation in the territory of the Republic Indonesia, in particular in Papua. Instead of paying the taxes, it charged or filed a legal action towards the government,” he said.
According to him, Freeport was not only sued the Papua Provincial Government but also the Indonesian Government. Papua is part of the Republic Indonesia; it couldn’t be separated. Therefore the Central Government couldn’t let it happened to the Papua Provincial Government.
“The Central Government shouldn’t remain silence but should provide intervention until the Court. If it not, it means the Central Government has done ignorance. We asked to the Comission XI of the Indonesian House of Representatives to provide support towards the Papua Provincial Government related to the case of government against Freeport,” he said.
Meanwhile the member of Special Committee on Freeport who also the Chairman of Asset and Revenue Working Committee of the Commission III of the Papua Legislative Council Carolus Kelen Bolly said it was described in the Freeport’s argument in the trial at the Tax Court, either visually or document based, the mining company was more referred to the Contract of Work. That’s their legal base.
“If the Contract of Work was used as reference, it means the legal order in this country would be corrupted. Is this Contract of Work more legitimated than the Law? The reference used by the Provincial Government to charge the water surface taxes is the Tax Law and Regional Regulation on Tax Legislation. The amount of outstanding taxes is high enough. Based on the count by the Regional Income and Revenue Office, it is more than Rp 1 trillion. Whether now we are on the right side or wrong side,” said Bolly.
Meanwhile, the representative of Directorate General of Taxation of the Indonesian Ministry of Finance David during the meeting with the Special Committee on Freeport said Freeport might file a lawsuit because the water surface tax was not included in the Contract of Work.
“Regarding to the lawsuit, the Contract of Work should be reviewed first. Usually the officials at the mining sector considered the Contract of Work as lex specialist. Even the law is weak upon this Contract of Work. I don’t know about this case yet. Perhaps the issue of water surface tax came after the Contract of Work. And when it was billed, they sued it because it was not included in the Contract of Work,” said David. (*/rom)