ICCC issues infringement notices to retail outlets

Paulus Ain

RETAIL outlets in East New Britain who allegedly increased prices of goods under price control during the state of emergency period have been issued infringement notices or paid K5,000 fines, the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) says.
ICCC said these retail outlets had increased prices by more than the allowed five per cent margin, thus, violating the National Emergency Order No 19.
The ICCC team carried out awareness at 79 retail outlets in Kokopo, Rabaul, Kerevat, Warangoi, Nonga and Toma in East New Britain, ICCC said.
ICCC commissioner and chief executive officer Paulus Ain said most of the retail outlets had complied with the order except for a few shops in Kokopo.
Ain said a trader was served seven infringement notices last month for being in breach of the Order 19 by increasing the prices of seven items above the allowed margin.
Earlier this month, Ain said, the second trader was served an infringement notice for increasing the price of a bale of 1kg roots rice.
The second trader has since paid the fine of K5,000 to the commission.
Ain said the ICCC team identified another trader in Kokopo yesterday which had increased the price of 5kg HS Star Rice above the allowed mark and would be served an infringement notice as well. He said if retail outlets needed to increase the price of goods during SOE then they should have sought the approval of ICCC.