Sixteen private sector businesses in Papua New Guinea are reportedly owed more than $US88 million by the government.
Discussions were recently held between treasury minister Charles Abel and the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce, RNZI reports.
The chamber’s Rio Fiocco said discussions went well, with the government acknowledging the debts and making assurances that it was taking steps to address them.
The minister told the chamber “there were no quick or easy fixes” but that Mr Abel would try to do what he could, Mr Fiocco said.
The chamber also had a discussion with the Internal Revenue Commission on the issue of companies being penalised for overdue taxes even though they were unable to pay because the government still owed them money.
The chamber asked that there be some level of compromise and fairness applied, Mr Fiocco said.
The commission indicated that if base tax levels were met, consideration would be given to waiving penalties, he said.