ICCC

ICCC fines shops in New Ireland for price increases

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.

ICCC begin price hike inspection

ICCC Commissioner and CEO, Paulus Ain, said so far his officers have not seen instances of price inflations by shops owners.

However, they are calling on consumers to be vigilant and to report and send evidence of shops breaching the gazettal.

In a media conference today ICCC Commissioner and CEO, Paulus Ain, said his officers have already begun inspecting to ensure prices of basic goods and needs are not inflated as per the Government Gazettal.

Lower fuel prices this month

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) announced the new retail fuel prices for this month have taken effect on Sunday, 08th March.                     

Furthermore, these price decreases are attributed to the following:

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Out of court settlement by Steamships

This follows an offer made to ICCC by Steamships for settlement out of court because of a delay by the National Court in progressing the matter.

In November 2011, the ICCC instituted legal proceedings against PNG Main Port Liner services Ltd, Steamships Trading Ltd, Kambang Holdings Ltd and Consort.

ICCC alleged that the acquisition of Kambang’s 34,000 shares in Consort by Mainport in 2009 breached section 69 of ICCC Act 2002.

This provision provides that a person shall not acquire shares of a business if it would likely lessen competition in a market.

Petrol price decreases by 2t

These prices will come into effect this Thursday, November 8.

The retail price for petrol stands at K3.83 per litre, a decrease of 2toea from October, diesel will cost K3.64 per litre, an increase of 9toea while kerosene will cost K3.34 per litre, an increase of 10toea.

According to the ICCC’s calculations, retail fuel prices for petrol will decrease while the retail prices for diesel and kerosene will increase throughout PNG.

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.