ICCC Papua New Guinea

ICCC IS NOT DOING ENOUGH – EXORBITANT RETAIL GOODS/SERVICES AND REALESATE PRICING IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA



“The primary objectives of INDEPENDENT CONSUMER and COMPETITION COMMISSION (ICCC) are to enhance the welfare of consumers in Papua New Guinea, promote industry conduct and standards, and protect consumer interest with regards to the price, quality and reliability of goods and services”.
On behalf of the silent Papua New Guineans, I challenge ICCC to come out publicly and explain its stance on irregularities in pricing practices, and its strategies going forward. 
- Willie Mell.

ICCC IS NOT DOING ENOUGH – EXORBITANT RETAIL GOODS/SERVICES AND REAL ESATE PRICING IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

By Willie Mell | 16 February 2022.

In recent times, retail prices of processed or packaged food, among others, have reached record levels and the climb is helplessly continuing. With the increase in unemployment rate and depreciating Kina against major currencies, life is tougher for average Papua New Guineans.

For instance, the “Roots Trukai Rice” price in 2020 was K31.00 but is now K37.00 for a 10kg bag. Just within 2 years, there’s an increase of K6.00. And the same is true for other packaged food items including meat, toiletries and accessories.

ICCC quickly comes out to explain increase in fuel prices and public transport fares, but has been very silent on increase in retail food prices, explaining the causes and enhance consumer welfare. It makes one wonder if ICCC has been set up to ONLY announce increase in fuel prices in Papua New Guinea.

The other unregulated industry is Real Estate. Having worked in the industry, I noted that landlords set prices as they please, 500% to 1,000% higher than actual market values.

In fact, real estate prices in Papua New Guinea are among the highest in the world! There is no standard guide to pricing of properties in Papua New Guinea. Growing illegal settlements on the fringes of cities and towns in PNG are squarely blamed on the absence of regulatory presence.

The lowest price for a decent single room is K500 per fortnight and the lowest run-down standalone house is K200,000 and up.

So, how does ICCC enhance the welfare of consumers in Papua New Guinea, promote industry conduct and standards, and protect consumer interest with regards to the price, quality and reliability of goods and services?

ICCC is not as vibrant as it used to be 20 years ago. With the bunch of economists and analysts working at ICCC, a simple question is:

What is the economics of the entity in view of its operational costs year in year out?

How can it justify its existence in view of the chaos we experience?

On behalf of the silent Papua New Guineans, I challenge ICCC to come out publicly and explain its stance on irregularities in pricing practices, and its strategies going forward.

iccc Papua New Guinea website





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