ICCC fines shops in New Ireland for price increases

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) has fined K30,000 to two retail outlets over the weekend in New Ireland that were found to have increased the prices of goods above the allowed five percent mark.

Red Star Investments in Kavieng was issued two infringement notices while Island Store, Arrow Trading 1 and Arrowing Trading 2 were issued the other four infringement notices.

Each infringement notice carries a spot fine of K5,000.

ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain, said if shops need to increase the price of goods during the State of Emergency period above five percent then they need to seek the approval of the ICCC first.

“We [ICCC] understand that the current State of Emergency is affecting everyone including business houses but as the country’s consumer protection agency we are asking that businesses and retail outlets seek approval from the ICCC first before they increase the price of their goods and services,” Commissioner Ain said.

“We have our officers out in most provinces and working with the local authorities, including the police, we are imposing hefty spot fines on retail outlets that are found to be in breach of SOE Order 19.”

Each infringement notice issued is for any price controlled good and service, listed under National Emergency Order No.19, that has had its price increased by more than the 5 per cent mark.

Commissioner Ain said the spot fines issued to the shop owners in New Ireland have to be paid within seven days from the issue of the fine or else they face further heftier penalties.

The ICCC has to date issued over 70 infringement notices to retail outlets in NCD, Eastern Highlands, Western Highlands, and East New Britain with more expected in other provinces once confirmed.

The ICCC also is currently continuing this price monitoring exercise in provinces that were earlier under strict travel restrictions including Western Province, East Sepik, West Sepik, East New Britain and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

Picture: ICCC Officer, Jack Timi, issuing an infringement notice to the operator of Island Store in Namatanai, New Ireland Province

Press Release