THE issuing of trading licences in East New Britain province has been suspended.
The ENB provincial administration decided to suspend the issue of trading licenses until an inspection by the Labour and Industrial Relations on all business activities by foreigners have been completed.
Speaking at a media conference last Friday in Kokopo, Department of Labour and Industrial Relations secretary David Tibu said the suspension was in support of the initiative by the department to crack down on illegal trading activities by foreigners.
He met with provincial administrator Aquila Tubal to discuss the issue.
Mr Tibu said the suspension would help his officers in their operation to identify and weed out illegal business operators in the province.
He said he was mindful that the issuance of licenses was a source of revenue for provincial governments.
He said one of the priorities of the operation was to check foreigners and the validity of their work permits and what type of work they were authorised to engage in.
Mr Tibu said the department was embarking on a nation-wide campaign aimed at educating Papua New Guineans and business operators on employment rules and regulations and the categories of various business activities that were restricted only to citizens.
He said the Department was concerned about this and mounted awareness programmes in major centres to stop people from taking the law into their own hands.
Mr Tibu said according to the rumours, groups of local people in some centres which he did not identify were planning to shut down Chinese supermarkets which they suspected as operating illegally in PNG.
He said citizens have no legal rights to sabotage any foreign business activities in the country.