ICCC raises concerns on hotel rates

Over the years, consumer watch dog and economic regulator, the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission, has received complaints from consumers regarding the increasing hotel rates, in particular 5-star hotels in the nation’s capital.

Port Moresby in the past three years has seen more developments in hotels however, the increase in the supply of rooms is not reflected in the rates.

Concerns are now being raised by Independent Consumer and Competition Commission on the recent increase on hotel room rates in Port Moresby.

Codes of Conduct for Real Estate sector

The Codes of Conduct are aimed at protecting consumers who are renting and new or existing home owners engaging contractors to build or renovate their properties. 

In his Ministerial speech to Parliament recently on the ICCC’s 2016 Audited Annual Report, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel, said they hope to make the codes mandatory.

Under the current legislative arrangement, the codes are currently voluntary.

Fuel and food prices to rise in 2018

CEO of the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission Paulus Ain confirmed this.

He said this is due to the increase of fuel price which was released recently due to the new tax for fuel as per the 2018 budget.

“That was a government decision.

“So most likely the cost of doing business in this country will be affected because fuel is the main cost driver.

“So if fuel is driving this cost then we are also expecting food prices on the shelf to also increase.

BAT ceases agreements after ICCC concern

This follows concerns raised by the independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC).

In a statement the ICCC said BAT voluntarily ceased enforcing exclusive clauses in its existing Formal Retail Agreement, Non-Direct Wholesale Agreement and Wholesale Vendor Agreement.

This comes after the Commission raised competition concerns on how these exclusivity clauses were administered.

The three agreements between BAT and its sellers and distributors aimed to eliminate or minimize the importation and sale of illicit tobacco products in PNG.

Rice importers ‘inflating their prices’

“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.

ICCC signs cooperation agreement with Simbu

The MoU paves the way for both parties to work together and enforce the consumer protection, completion, and economic regulation work for the ICCC.

Under the MoU, a Business Development Officer (BDO) within the Commerce Division of the Provincial Administration will be formally recognized and resourced as an ICCC appointed agent to perform the monitoring and enforcement function of the ICCC.

The BDO will work in close collaboration with the ICCC’s Highlands Regional office and will be guided and required under the MoU to undertake 11 main activities.

Fuel prices drop in December

The latest fuel prices released by the Independent Consumer & Competition Commission yesterday show petrol dropping by mire than 8 toea per litre (tpl) and diesel and kerosene dropping by over 10 tpl.

The decreases follow three months of consecutive fuel price hikes with November recording the highest with all three main fuels rising by 13 per cent.

The new retail price for petrol stands at 299.78tpl (K3.00 per litre) after dropping by 8.40tpl.

Review on project agreement determination sought

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) is now calling for stakeholders in the aviation and oil sector as well as the public to review the draft determination and comment before December 19th.

One of the key issues raised in the determination is the Napa Napa Project Agreement between Puma Energy and the State, which the ICCC says has been one of the major areas of competition concerns.

ICCC issues Statutory Notice to Exxon Mobil

ICCC Commissioner and CEO Paulus Ain in a statement said, the notice is issued under Section 128 of the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission Act 2002 (ICCC Act).

He said once a Statutory Notice is issued, it compels any individual or company to provide specific information or documents requested by ICCC.

“The issuance of a Statutory Notice is not taken lightly and is exercised when an individual and or a company has refused to voluntarily provide information formally requested by the ICCC.”

ICCC supports proposed reforms for Internet rates

ICCC Chief Executive Officer, Paul Ain, told Loop PNG that the suggested reforms will place them and other regulators in a better position to address the issue.

He said this following the launching of the report ‘Why are internet prices high in Papua New Guinea’ at the National Research Institute yesterday.

Ain said in terms of pricing the National Information & Communications Technology Authority  (NICTA) would step in to regulate.