PNG’s pricing watchdog, the Independent Consumer, and Competition Commission or (ICCC) over the weekend fined K30, 000 to two retail outlets in New Ireland Province; both found to have increased the prices of goods above the allowed 5 percent mark directly violating Emergency Order No. 19.
While each infringement notice carries a spot fine of K5, 000; one retail was issued two infringement notices while the other was issued four infringement notices totaling a fine of K30, 000.
The Independent Consumer & Competition Commission price monitoring exercise is ongoing as teams travel throughout the country to slap retail outlets with hefty spot fines.
In its last visit to the Highlands region, 57 infringements were issued to retails outlets that were in breach of SoE order 19.
It most recent visit in the New Guinea Islands region; New Ireland Province, two outlets were slapped with a K30, 000 fine after being issued two and four infringement notices respectively.
Although ICCC understands that the current state of emergency is affecting everyone including business houses; ICCC as the country’s protection agency is advising all business and retail outlets to seek approval from ICCC first before they increase the price of their goods and services.
ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain highlights that its teams continue to receive complaints from consumers throughout the country, and based on the evidence gathered, the commission has acted on these successes.
An infringement notice carries a spot fine of K5, 000.00 for an initial offense and a further K10, 000.00 for a repeat offense.
Commissioner Ain said the Commission is still identifying retail outlets in other provinces that are in breach of this Emergency Order and they will be dealt with accordingly.
To date, the ICCC issued over 70 infringement notices to retail outlets in NCD, Eastern Highlands, and Western Highlands with more expected in other provinces once confirmed and will continue 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.
By Annette Kora, EMTV News.