by Bethanie Harriman – EMTV News, Lae
The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission Boss, Paulus Ain, says fuel prices are increasing, but not so much and there is some level of uncertainty in the next several months.
“Generally, the fuel prices on a good market, is trying to rise a little bit, but the uncertainties are available, we don’t know what will happen,” says Ain.
Lae City PMV Bus owners have called on an increase in bus fare and a change of routes, because they say spare parts imported have become expensive and the ICCC is the only body that can allow an increase.
While the imported spare parts have remained quite expensive, the ICCC commissioner says fuel prices will remain low because of an over supply in world markets.
The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission have already called for a meeting to discuss the two concerns. The ICCC is the only statutory body that can set PMV bus fares, on 27th May, the Commissioner Paulus Ain told EMTV that fuel prices have increased slightly and bus fare adjusts have been given annually.
While spare part dealers have been reluctant to talk about their prices, bus owners are feeling the pinch, they’ve asked for answers.
“We have are calling for an increase of bus fare, so the Government must increase,” says Bafi Mungufa a Bus driver from the Eastern Highlands.
The fuel prices in the country have remained relatively low because of over supply from producing countries for the last sixteen months, but the prices are slowly increasing as demand grows.
“Fuel Prices has been decreasing over the fifteen to sixteen months, fuel price reduction, so the increases in bus fare were very minimum, so that’s why we gave them (bus owners) only a 10t, depending on the locations of the transport or PMV sectors in this country,” says Ain.
In the fuel sector, Puma Energy holds a considerable amount of market share, if there should be any difficulties getting fuel into the country, fuel will have to be sought after by consumers’.
“In an unlikely event that supply is in shortage, then there is always an allowance or provision that parties can go out and source their own fuel, to supply the market, so we maintain the consistent supply of the fuel market,” says Ain.
It is being reported that Fuel supply is high in the world at the moment, prices for importing fuel has remained affordable for suppliers like Puma Energy, but once world prices for crude, diesel and petrol rises, Puma energy will need to compete with demand and import using foreign currency that is lacking in the reserves and there is also a backlog at the moment in the central bank.