Denpasar, Jubi –A special committee at the Papua Legislative Council has embarked on an investigation into alleged tax non-payment by PT. Freeport Indonesia by holding a meeting with provincial government agencies in Nusa Dua, Bali on Saturday (21/5/2016).
The Committee Chairman Yan Permenas Mandenas said the committee was able to collect data to politically support efforts by Papua Provincial Government, including legal moves, in connection with suspected tax evasions by Freeport since November 2015.
“We will set up a strategy and process some data and information, then establish a frame work based on the existing data and information into a working scheme and strategy to achieve our target of work. There are possibilities related to this case. It might open a possibility about the existence of tax mafia in the Freeport tax case,” said Mendenas on Monday (23/5/2016).
There are suspicions that Freeport’s obligations to the provincial government had not been fulfilled, he said.
There are other possibilities to have occurred without the provincial government’s acknowledgement. Such a big company and foreign investor like Freeport would definitely work based on international standards.
“I think Freeport would do its obligation as long as it has regulated in our country,” he said.
According to him, the Special Committee would attempt to open to the public who’s actually behind the Freeport’s unpaid taxes to the Provincial Government. It might to indicate the existence of tax mafia.
“We have warned both Regional Development Planning Agency and Regional Revenue Office to not easily accept the tax payment by Freeport if it wasn’t meet the terms and conditions. For example if Freeport must pay RP 10 billion but it only deposit Rp 4 billion, the government should reject it,” he said.
What has been the mistake of Papua Provincial Government is, added Mendena, they kept accepting the Freeport tax payment though it was less amounted. It was a huge mistake. Based on 2007-2015 data on Freeport taxes, the total tax revenues for Papua are including the vehicle tax, vehicle transfer tax, water surface tax, fuel tax, tailing management system tax that reach to Rp 653 billion.
“RP 653 billion was the regional revenue. For this category, it was very low compared to the obligation supposed to pay by Freeport. The vehicle tax and other taxes get insignificant increment. Tax vehicle for 2007 was Rp 4 billion, Rp 5 billion for 2008, Rp 6 billion for 2009, and Rp 7 billion for 2010. The revenue from land rent and royalty from Freeport for Papua Province and the regencies of Papua was Rp 8.9 trillion which is up to Rp 2 billion for Provincial Government, and up to Rp 6.8 trillion for regencies/municipality,” he said.
First Deputy Chairman of Papua Legislative Council Edoardus Kaize said the Special Committee was established to resume the Freeport tax into the right place, therefore it become the government’s right or obligation, not just to claim.
“We want the Special Committee. It aims to endorse the formation of regulation and be grounded in Papua. The Special Committee is aimed to set a regulation to take the taxes based on rights, not because of our intention,” said Kaize.
According to him, if it should be included in the regulation, therefore it should be done. It shouldn’t refer to the voice of liberation to pay the amount properly and reduce it once the aspiration was gone. “The Special Committee would endorse whether a legal product is needed to create or to be added,” he said. (Arjuna Pademme/rom)