Rice importers ‘inflating their prices’

Rice importers are inflating their prices, claims the Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry.

“We have more than reasonable grounds to suspect that widespread transfer pricing by rice importers are inflating the price of rice to our consumers, depriving the State of revenues by keeping revenues off-shore and are draining our Forex (Foreign Reserve),” Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Richard Maru, said. 

“The Department studied the quoted global prices of rice compared to the rice being imported into PNG and discovered irreconcilable discrepancies.

“Based on the findings of our preliminary investigation, the PNG Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry is convinced that PNG consumers and industry have been paying up to 40 percent more for rice.

“Based on global FOB price on the spot market, the Department is now completing its investigations, including meeting with ICCC to share information, and will be presenting a paper to the NEC to bring back the Rice under Price Control and not price monitoring.”

 The Department believes this will prevent rice importers from taking advantage of our ignorance and from ‘walking away with exorbitant profits at the expense of our country and our people’.

Charles Yapumi