No overpricing, shops warned


THE Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) is warning shop owners and operators not to overprice goods, particularly those under price control, or they may face prosecution.
ICCC Commissioner and chief executive officer Paulus Ain gave the warning after commending businesses in Enga for maintaining steady prices despite the Covid-19 lockdown and state of emergency (SOE). A supermarket in Port Moresby was under scrutiny by ICCC last month for allegedly selling noodles for a bigger margin than allowed under price control.
Ain said despite facing difficulties in operation, Enga had maintained the normal price of goods and that should be practised by other centres as well.
He said some shops had increased prices of goods and services under lockdown which was illegal.
He said it was all about commonsense and honesty as consumers were innocent.
Ain said he had sent officers to 12 provinces to check prices of goods after many shop owners and managers took advantage of the lockdown to make more profit.
He said some shops in the Highlands were allegedly selling overdue products while others increased prices without informing ICCC their reasons.
“I was surprised to hear that shops were doing that so I have to send my officers to check the shops,” he said.
“We will continue to monitor this situation because shop owners and businesses should not take advantage of the Covid-19 situation to overcharge consumers,” Ain said.
“If you feel that you are one of those doing it (overcharging), then you have to stop because that is stealing and wrong for you to overcharge.” Ain called on the public to report to ICCC if they see any shops increasing the prices of goods.